Changes to Public Charge as of April 2021

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued this interagency letter, asking other federal agencies to help spread the word that the Trump public charge regulations are no longer in effect. The letter provides information about the longstanding 1999 public charge guidance that has been reinstated, including public benefits not considered in a public charge inadmissibility determination: Medicaid (except for Medicaid for long-term institutionalization), public housing, or SNAP benefits.

It also notes that medical treatment or preventive services for COVID-19, including vaccinations, will not be considered for public charge purposes. The letter encourages immigrants to access benefits, saying that “It is critical that immigrants and their families, many of whom are essential workers, are able to access necessary government services for which they may be eligible to keep their families safe and healthy.”