On March 9, 2021, the Department of Justice successfully moved courts to dismiss all pending appeals that defended the August 2019 Public Charge Final Rule. This was consistent with Executive Order 14012, which directed review of the rule. As a result, USCIS stopped applying the Public Charge Final Rule to all pending applications and petitions that would have been subject to the rule. This means that USCIS will not consider an applicant's receipt of Medicaid, public housing, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits as part of determining admissibility. USCIS will now return to applying the public charge inadmissibility statute consistent with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance that was in place prior to the implementation of the Public Charge Final Rule.
USCIS removed all content related to the Public Charge Final Rule from the applicable forms and has posted updated versions of these forms. The affected forms are forms I-129, I-129CW, I-129CWR, I-485, I-485A, I-485J, I-539, I-539A, I-864, I-864A, I-864EZ, I-864W, and I-912. The edition date for those forms is now 03/10/2021. USCIS will still accept the old versions of the forms until April 18, 2021. However, USCIS will only accept the 03/10/2021 version of the forms starting on April 19, 2021.
Furthermore, on March 10, 2021, USCIS removed the Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency.
Applicants who filed Adjustment of Status applications on or after March 9, 2021 do not need to submit the Form I-944 or any evidence or documentation required for that form with their Form I-485. For Adjustment of Status applications filed on or before March 8, 2021, USCIS will not consider any information related solely to the Public Charge Final Rule. This includes any information on the Form I-944 or evidence or documentation submitted with the Form I-944. USCIS will evaluate all other information in the applications consistent with the statutes, regulations, and policies in effect at the time of adjudication. If an applicant for Adjustment of Status filed on or before March 9, 2021 receives and RFE or NOID related to the Public Charge Final Rule including Form I-944 and a response is due on or after March 9, 2021, applicants do not need to respond to sections that solely pertain to the Public Charge Final Rule or the Form I-944. Applicants still must respond to sections of the RFE or NOID that do not pertain to the Public Charge Final Rule or Form I-944.
For forms I-129, I-129CW, I-539 and I-539A, applicants and petitioners do not need to provide information related to public benefits. If an applicant or petitioner has already provided this information, it will not be considered.
This blog post does not serve as legal advice and does not establish any client-attorney privilege. Do not take any action based on the information contained in this post without consulting a qualified immigration attorney. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team directly.
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This information comes from a news release release from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA Doc. No. 21031140).