Public Charge Grounds Final Rule
On September 22, 2020, USCIS updated their website to accurately reflect that the public charge rule was back in full effect. Prior to this, Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, was unavailable on their website and USCIS was not clear whether they were accepting this form.
As we remember, on July 29, 2020, an injunction was issued preventing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) from implementing the public charge rule while our country was in a national state of emergency due to the novel COVID-19. This brought relief to many individuals who were seeking to adjust status (green card application) here in the United States, as well as those who were seeking to obtain their lawful permanent residency through the consulate or embassy overseas.
Nonetheless, on September 11, 2020, another court decision was issued, thus allowing DHS to resume implementing the Public Charge Grounds Final Rule nationwide again. This means that all applications or petitions where Form I-944 was required and were postmarked or electronically submitted after 02.24.2020 would require this form once again. Yet, if a petition or application was adjudicated or approved between 07.29.2020 through 09.22.2020 then the decision would remain final.
Furthermore, if an individual filed their Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, after 02.24.2020 then they may be required to file Form I-944. Nonetheless, since the Form I-944 was not made available for several months prior to this announcement, USCIS stated it would accept Form I-485 without an I-944 as long as it is received before 10.13.2020, and USCIS will simply request any missing forms later. Any Form I-485 that is received after 10.13.2020, without all required forms (Form I-944) will be rejected.
Lastly, USCIS will request any missing evidence for Form I-129, Form I-539, Form I-539A as well following this announcement as well.
We have included the link below for you to review as well regarding this USCIS announcement.