A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from proceeding with plans to deny green cards to immigrants including Caribbean nationals who will use government assistance programmes in the future.
The move was challenged by New York and other states in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
A judge in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday granted a nationwide temporary injunction, suspending the eligibility requirements that were introduced last year.
The Supreme Court ruled in January that the Trump administration could move forward with the plan.
In the past, green card applicants who relied on social services as their primary means of financial support or were institutionalized could be denied permanent residency under what is known as the public charge rule.
But fewer than one per cent of applicants were previously disqualified on public charge grounds.