Final Rule Governing Public Charge Grounds of Visa Ineligibility

Last Updated: October 6, 2023

The State Department’s regulation governing the public charge grounds of visa ineligibility has been restored to the version that was in place prior to October 11, 2019.

On October 11, 2019, the Department published an interim final rule (IFR), which substantially revised the regulations governing the grounds. The IFR was enjoined by the District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 29, 2020. Since that time, the Department has used Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) guidance that was in place prior to the publication of the IFR.

The IFR was intended to align with the standards then applied by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to determine inadmissibility on public charge grounds. In 2022, DHS published a new Final Rule. As such, the IFR no longer meets the policy aim of consistency with DHS standards.

In reverting to regulatory text that was in place prior to the publication of the IFR, the Department is again more closely aligned with the current DHS standards.