Immigrant New Yorkers should seek care without fear. The use of health services related to COVID-19 will not be considered under the federal administration’s Public Charge rule and will not impact one’s ability to apply for a green card or citizenship. On March 13, 2020, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) posted an alert clarifying that seeking or using medical treatment or preventive healthcare services related to COVID-19 will not be considered under the public charge rule, even if the services are Medicaid-funded. Use of healthcare services will not impact your ability to apply for a green card. Anyone who needs help during the COVID-19 crisis should seek care without fear, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay for health services.
This PSA is available in English, Spanish, and French.
More about the revised Public Charge rule: The Trump administration announced that it will be harder for some people to receive a Green Card or to receive some classes of visas if they use certain benefits. This change to the “Public Charge” rule was formally announced on August 14, 2019. The rule went into effect on Feb. 24, 2020. Public charge does not apply to all immigrants. Not every immigrant is subject to the public charge test. Refugees, asylees and many other categories of humanitarian immigrants are exempt.
Anyone with questions or to receive more information about the new regulation can contact the Office for New Americans hotline at 1-800-566-7636, or ActionNYC at 311 to access safe New York City -funded legal advice. For real-time New York City COVID-19 updates in English, text COVID to 692-692 or COVIDESP 692-692 for updates in Spanish and follow CDC guidelines at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
African Services Committee (ASC) is a nonprofit, human rights organization dedicated to improving the health and self sufficiency of the African community and anyone who needs ASC’s supportive services. Founded in 1981, African Services Committee provides health, housing, legal, educational, and social services to more than 6500 newcomers each year in New York City. African Services Committee has also worked on the frontlines of the global AIDS epidemic since 2003; operating three clinics in Ethiopia, and through advocacy and policy work in the U.S. and abroad. Learn more about African Services Committee at www.africanservices.org.
African Services Committee is an F.Y. Eye PSA Network Host. Learn more about how your organization can become a host here.