USCIS Alert re COVID-19 and Public Charge Inadmissibilty 

USCIS encourages all those, including aliens, with symptoms that resemble Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services.  Such treatment or preventive services will NOT negatively affect any alien as part of a future Public Charge analysis.

The Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule does not restrict access to testing, screening, or treatment of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. In addition, the rule does not restrict access to vaccines for children or adults to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases.

Importantly, for purposes of a public charge inadmissibility determination, USCIS considers the receipt of public benefits as only one consideration among a number of factors and considerations in the totality of the alien’s circumstances over a period of time with no single factor being outcome determinative.

To address the possibility that some aliens impacted by COVID-19 may be hesitant to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services, USCIS will neither consider testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine becomes available) related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge inadmissibility determination, nor as related to the public benefit condition applicable to certain nonimmigrants seeking an extension of stay or change of status, even if such treatment is provided or paid for by one or more public benefits, as defined in the rule (e.g. federally funded Medicaid).