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USCIS Updates I-944 Public Charge Guidance in Wake of Stay of Injunction

USCIS today updated its webpages regarding the I-485 and the public charge rule, notifying applicants that it will enforcing the public charge rule in the wake of the decision to stay the nationwide injunction, and that applicants filing for adjustment of status will need to include the Form I-944 and relevant supporting documentation. Most notably, USCIS says that it will be applying the rule to all applications postmarked/submitted on or after February 24, 2020, the date the rule originally went into effect. It remains somewhat unclear how USCIS will treat those applications submitted between July 30, 2020 (when the injunction was issued and September 11, 2020 (the date the injunction was stayed). The language seems to suggest that USCIS will still be enforcing the public charge rule on applications submitted in that window, meaning they will likely RFE those cases at some point. We will, of course, keep our ear to the ground and update our readers as soon as we receive any news and/or updates.


Copied from USCIS:



A Sept. 11, 2020, court decision allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resume implementing the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule nationwide. The decision stays an earlier injunction, issued during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, that prevented DHS from enforcing the rule during a national health emergency. For a history of the relevant court decisions, see below.

Therefore, we will apply the public charge final rule to all applications and petitions postmarked or submitted electronically on or after Feb. 24, 2020, including pending applications and petitions. If you send your application or petition by commercial courier (for example, UPS, FedEx, or DHL), we will use the date on the courier receipt as the postmark date.

We will not re-adjudicate any applications and petitions that were approved following the issuance of the July 29, 2020, injunction continuing until the date of this notice.


If you filed your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, after Feb. 24, 2020, you may be required to file Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency. If we receive a Form I-485 before Oct. 13, 2020, that does not have all required forms and evidence, we will request any missing forms and evidence. After Oct. 13, 2020, we will reject your Form I-485 if you do not include the required forms and evidence with Form I-485 at the time of filing.

We will also ask for any missing evidence for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker; Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker; Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status; and Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

Read the Final Rule (PDF). For additional information, see the related guidance in the Policy Manual, Volumes 28 and 12.



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