Public charge rule and Colorado immigrants

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The federal government has finalized a revised and expanded "public charge" rule that may impact immigrants' applications for visas, permanent residency or admission to the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court lifted an injunction on the rule in late January, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented the new rule on Feb. 24, 2020. 

These changes will have impacts on community members and families with certain immigration statuses here in Colorado. Misunderstanding about these changes has and can result in individuals and families declining or not receiving critical assistance for which they are eligible. There are resultant impacts to our systems of care, provider networks, and Coloradans themselves, and this information is intended to minimize these impacts by ensuring stakeholders, partners and communities have access to information.

We are a stronger Colorado when all of our residents have access to critical programs that support a healthy community, and we must not discourage the enrollment of individuals in our programs based on misunderstandings.

The USCIS has issued clarification encouraging all individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 to seek treatment and testing. Such treatment or preventive services will not negatively affect future public charge determinations.

Letter from Gov. Jared Polis

Download a letter from Gov. Jared Polis to stakeholders and community partners regarding the public charge rule.

Understanding the public charge rule

To understand the public charge rule and who it applies to, download either the community fact sheet or, if you are a service provider or front-line eligibility worker, the desk aid. The community fact sheet is also available in the following languages:











Links and resources

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services links

Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (form I-485)

Declaration of Self-Sufficiency (form I-944)

Additional guidance related to public benefit usage

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement links

Letter from Office of Refugee Resettlement director regarding ORR populations

Office of Legal Access Programs

Download a list of Colorado Office of Legal Access Programs, which have been accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Find an immigration lawyer

Use the American Immigration Lawyers Association's website to find an immigration lawyer.

Additional links

Sharing of School Meal Eligibility Information (English)

Sharing of School Meal Eligibility Information (Spanish)

School Meal Eligibility Release of Information

Eligibility Desk Aid Relating to Certain Immigrant Populations