Following a Sept. 11 ruling from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed implementation of the Public Charge Rule nationwide. A previous injunction had prohibited any enforcement of the rule during any period where there was a declared national health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who Does This Impact?
USCIS will apply the final rule to all applications and petitions postmarked or submitted electronically on or after Feb. 24, 2020. This includes applications or petitions that are currently pending adjudication.
If a foreign national is filing a Form I-485 Adjustment of Status and it is received by USCIS before Oct. 13, 2020, USCIS has indicated that it will issue a request for evidence (RFE) if the Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency and supporting documents are not included. Once this grace period passes, USCIS said that any adjustment of status requests that do not include the I-944 and supporting documents will be rejected.
Petitions and applications for nonimmigrant classifications filed on forms I-129 and I-539, such as H-1B and H-4, will need to include responses to the public charge questions and any applicable supporting documentation. USCIS will issue RFEs on cases that were previously accepted for filing without responses to these questions or without required supporting documentation.
Finally, USCIS will not re-adjudicate any applications or petitions that were approved following the July 29 injunction through yesterday’s announcement.
The final rule and effective dates apply only to adjustment of status requests submitted to USCIS by applicants within the U.S. At this time, The Department of State remains barred from enforcing the public charge rule on applications filed by foreign nationals outside the U.S.
How Are Envoy Global and Global Immigration Associates (GIA) Responding?
Both Envoy and GIA have been monitoring this situation closely and are working to ensure that all cases are filed with the appropriate information.
What Do I Need To Do Next?
GIA has advised that specific questions about this announcement be directed to the legal team via the Envoy Communication Center.
Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is a Managing Attorney at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.
Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.