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USCIS to Begin Requiring Public Charge Form Again, Beginning October 13


USCIS to Begin Requiring Public Charge Form Again, Beginning October 13

On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision allowing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS or “Department”) to resume implementing its new Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility rule nationwide. The Department had previously been enjoined from enforcing, applying, implementing, or treating as effective the rule during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does this new ruling mean for adjustment of status applications*?

  • Beginning October 13, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will reject any adjustment of status application filed without the Form I-944, Public Charge Questionnaire, and required supporting documentation.
  • Any applications filed on or after February 24, 2020 but received by USCIS before October 13, 2020 will not be rejected but may receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) for the Form I-944 and supporting documentation.
  • Applications that were adjudicated between the July 29 injunction and September 22, 2020 (the date USCIS updated its website with the Form I-944 requirement) will not be re-adjudicated.

*Unrelated to the public charge ruling, but noting another important change for adjustment of status applications, also beginning in October: USCIS’ filing fee increase goes into effect next Friday, October 2, 2020. All applications must be postmarked October 1, 2020 or earlier to avoid a rejection and having to file under the new fee structure.

Of additional note, as of the date of this posting, the July 29, 2020 court ruling for the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is still in effect, meaning that DOS is still not allowed to “enforce, apply, implement, or treat as effective” its new public charge rule and related Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) guidance.

For a review of the new public charge rules announced by DHS and DOS and the ongoing associated litigation, please refer to prior blog posts

This information is intended for educational purposes only. If you have questions about your eligibility for an immigration benefit, your immigration options, or how the public charge rule and associated court rulings might affect you, please contact Joseph & Hall at (303) 297-9171 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. If you are already a client of Joseph & Hall and have questions about your case, please contact your attorney to discuss your particular case.

Please stay tuned for continued updates via this website and our Facebook page throughout this time.

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