The “public charge” concept was first established by Congress in 1882 in order to allow the U.S. government to deny a U.S. visa to anyone who “is likely at any time to become a public charge” — but without defining what “public charge” means or describing how they determine whether someone would be likely to receive public benefits in the future. Under the Trump administration, the “Public Charge Rule” is now being interpreted very broadly to reduce the number of people who are eligible for green cards as well as temporary visas, by redefining what makes them dependent on government benefits — or “likely” to be in the future. The new rule affects people applying for green cards (permanent residence) from within the United States (through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)), as well as those applying for both immigrant visas (for permanent resident status) and nonimmigrant visas (for temporary status) from outside of the United States through U.S. Consulates managed by the U.S. Department of State. Among all the measures that the Trump administration has pursued so far to reduce legal immigration, the “public charge rule” could have the biggest impact. Many people who would have received green cards and visas prior to this new rule may now be determined to be inadmissible and thus ineligible for a green card or visa. Landis Arn & Jaynes will be scheduling an open house for individuals wishing to assess their prospects under the new public charge rules. Please send an email to with the subject “Public Charge Open House” to indicate your interest in participating in this analysis, and watch this space for information on our open house. In the meantime, the following online resources are available for more details regarding the implementation of the new policy:

Public Charge Fact Sheet from Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)

Public Charge Page at Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC):

USCIS Fact Sheet: