Public Charge - Notice

of the Federated States of Micronesia

On August 14, 2019, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule ‘Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds’, which will go into effect on October 15, 2019.

The rule is intended to guide U.S. officials on how to determine “whether an alien applying for admission at port or seeking adjustment of status in the United States is admissible to the United States under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)”. Section 212(a)(4) of the INA provides that certain individuals may be inadmissible to the United States if they are at risk of becoming a “public charge” or a burden on government services.

This new rule does not change the criteria for determining who is likely to become a public charge, but it does provide additional guidance to U.S. officials on how to evaluate whether an individual is likely to become a public charge.

Under the Amended U.S.-FSM Compact of Free Association, FSM citizens are generally free to enter the United States and reside indefinitely, and do not need a visa to enter or stay. While they have this general right to enter and stay, under the Amended Compact FSM citizens are already subject to the Public Charge rule that is the subject of this new DHS rule. DHS notes that applicability to FSM citizens is unchanged by the new Rule: “Congress did not exempt foreign nationals entering the United States under the COFA from public charge ground of inadmissibility, or otherwise modify the applicability of such ground of inadmissibility with respect to COFA immigrants”.

As it relates to FSM citizens under the Compact of Free Association (COFA), DHS acknowledges that COFA migrants may be affected by this rule under the limited circumstances of seeking admission at a port of entry or seeking adjustment of status in the United States (such as applying for lawful permanent resident status or for U.S. citizenship).

For more information on this new rule, “Inadmissibility of Public Charge Grounds,” please refer to the DHS US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website at

You may also contact the FSM Embassy in D.C. or one of the three Consulates in the U.S.

Washington, D.C.
FSM Embassy

1725 N St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Telephone: (202)223-4383
Fax: (202)223-4391

FSM Consulate General in Portland

7931 NE Halsey St. Suite 201
Portland, OR 97213
Telephone: 503-954-3710/24
Fax: 503-954-3750

FSM Consulate General in Guam

1755 Army Drive Route 16
Harmon, Guam 96913
Telephone: (671) 646-9154/55
Fax: (671) 647-1547

FSM Consulate General in Honolulu

3049 Ualena Street, Suite 412
Honolulu, HI 96819
Telephone: (808) 836-4775
Fax: (808) 836-6896
Alternate Email: