Monday's vote split along ideological lines, with the five conservative justices in the majority.
The order was also issued while Chief Justice John Roberts was presiding over the impeachment trial
of President Donald Trump in the US Senate across the street from the Supreme Court.
The Trump administration's immigration policies have repeatedly met with legal challenges, resulting, in some cases, in lower courts blocking the policies from taking effect across the country, as happened with the public charge rule.
Monday's order means the rule can go into effect in every state, pending appeal, except for Illinois which is covered by a separate injunction.
The rule will affect people who are trying to obtain lawful permanent status, otherwise known as a green card. To that end, the rule has the potential to reshape legal immigration by limiting access to green cards for lower-income immigrants.
Criticism of nationwide injunctions
"We're happy to see the Supreme Court step in the way they did here," Cuccinelli, who now serves as acting Homeland Security deputy secretary, said Monday. "It is very clear the US Supreme Court is fed up with these national injunctions by judges who are trying to impose their policy preferences instead of enforcing the law and we see this again with the Supreme Court stepping in in the way they have here and we very much appreciate it."
A New York judge last fall issued a nationwide injunction blocking the rule. Solicitor General Noel Francisco appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, asking the justices to allow the rule to go into effect while the appeals process played out.
Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas wrote separately to criticize nationwide injunctions -- court orders that block a policy across the country -- like the one that had been issued in the case.
It is an issue of deep concern for Francisco and Attorney General William Barr, who have complained that the government has been stymied by injunctions blocking their policies for months until the court process plays out.