USCIS Will Not Consider Receipt of Noncash Public Health Benefits (Such as Medicaid, or Nutritional Assistance) As Part of their Public Charge Inadmissibility Determination

The Department of Homeland Security is implementing a new rule for Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility, which has taken effect on December 23, 2022.

This rule establishes how USCIS will determine whether a noncitizen is likely to become a “public charge,” or dependent on the government for financial assistance.

This final rule restores the historical understanding of a “public charge” that had been in place for decades before the previous administration began to consider supplemental public health benefits such as Medicaid and nutritional assistance as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination.

Source: USCIS, December 19th, 2022

Factors that will be considered in this determination include an applicant’s age, health, family status, assets, education and skills, and any prior or current receipt of government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Notably, noncash benefits, such as public housing or school lunch programs, will not be considered in this determination, with the exception of long-term institutionalization at government expense.

USCIS published a policy manual and updated form I-485, which provides guidance on how the rule will be implemented and must be used by applicants filing on or after December 23, 2022.

Text of the final rule for determining the inadmissibility based on Public Charge grounds can be found here:


Have an immigration question? Fill out a consultation form and an immigration attorney will reach out to you shortly.

Similar Posts