- USCIS has issued guidance following the end of the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule’s implementation
- USCIS will no longer consider an applicant’s receipt of public benefits as part of its inadmissibility criteria
- Applicants should not submit information to USCIS related solely to the Public Charge Final Rule and their receipt of public benefits
- USCIS will not consider information related exclusively to public benefits for applications adjudicated on or after March 9, 2021
- A response is not required for a NOID or RFE on or after March 9, 2021 requesting information related solely to the Public Charge Final Rule
- DHS is also expected to issue details regarding its implementation of the Public Charge Final Rule
As anticipated, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published guidance on the Public Charge Final Rule.
What are the Changes?
Following recent court decisions to end implementation of the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule, and the decision by the White House not to defend this rule, USCIS has issued guidance for employers and applicants. The agency has stated that it will no longer consider an applicant’s receipt of food stamps, public housing, or Medicaid as part of its public charge inadmissibility determination.
What Should Employers and Applicants Know?
Effective immediately, applicants and petitioners should not submit information related exclusively to the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule to USCIS.
Applicants for change of nonimmigrant status and extension of nonimmigrant stay should not submit information related to receipt of public benefits on Form I-129 (Part 6), Form I-129CW (Part 6), Form I-539 (Part 5), and Form I-539A (Part 3). Applicants for adjustment of status should not include Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, or any corresponding evidence or documentation required on Form I-944 when they submit their Form I-485. Applicants should also note that USCIS has removed Form I-944 from its website.
If applicants have already submitted information related to the Public Charge Final Rule and USCIS adjudicates the application on or after March 9, 2021, the agency will not consider any information related exclusively to the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule when deciding on the application.
Applicants who have received a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) or a Request for Evidence (RFE) requesting information pertaining only to the Public Charge Final Rule, including Form I-944, are not required to provide that information if the response date for the NOID or RFE is on or after March 9, 2021. However, a response must still be provided for any other parts of the NOID or RFE that pertain to eligibility for the immigration benefit that the applicant is seeking.
Along with USCIS’s recent guidance, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expected to provide further details regarding its plans for the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule going forward. Updates will be announced as available.