If public charge does not apply to you, you can receive any public benefits you qualify for without any risk to your immigration status
|U.S. Citizens. If you are a U.S. Citizen, public charge does not apply to you.|
|Green card holders. If you already have your green card, public charge does not apply when you are renewing your green card or when you apply for U.S. citizenship. However, if you plan to leave the U.S. for more than 6 months, public charge could apply when you return to the U.S., so you should talk with an immigration attorney before you leave.|
|Humanitarian immigrants and crime victims. If you have a U or T Visa, Asylum or Refugee status, Special Immigrant Juvenile status, or you are a VAWA self-petitioner, public charge does not apply to you. Public charge is also not part of the application process for any of these statuses.|
|People applying for green cards and visas. People applying for green cards and visas. If you are or will be applying for a green card or a visa, and your status is not listed in the box above, public charge might apply to you. If public charge applies to you, it can be used to deny you a green card or visa. But you and your family can still receive most public benefits without harming your green card or visa application. See below for more details|
If public charge applies to you, and you will be applying for a green card or visa inside the U.S….
|You and your family can safely use many of the public benefits programs you qualify for, including any of the programs listed below. None of the programs listed below can be counted against you when you apply for a green card or visa.|
|If public charge applies to you, talk with an expert before applying for or stopping cash assistance (TANF and SSI) or Medical Assistance used to pay for a nursing home. These are the only benefits that can be considered during a public charge test. If you receive these benefits, this could be counted against you when you apply for a green card or visa. Even if you receive one of these benefits, an immigration advocate might be able to help you prove that you are not a public charge. You can find a list of free/reduced cost immigration advocacy groups here.|