Firm Announcements and Law Updates

Firm Announcements and Law Updates


Public Charge Changes

On September 30, 2019, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) released a practice alert announcing that USCIS will not accept current versions of several forms if postmarked on or after October 15, 2019, due to the implementation of the Final Rule published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on August 14, 2019. The affected forms include:

  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

  • Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

  • Form I-864 & I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support

  • Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

Despite the fact that these changes are scheduled to go into effect on Monday, USCIS has still failed to publish the revised forms. On October 7, 2019, AILA filed suit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia to halt these last minute form changes. You can read about AILA’s lawsuit here.

In addition to the revisions, USCIS has introduced Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency. According to DHS, the form is “used to demonstrate that you are not likely to become a public charge,” and will be required with all Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (I-485). Like the revisions listed above, USCIS has not published a final version of Form I-944, as of October 9, 2019. They did, however, release a draft on August 1, 2019, which can be viewed here.

We are keeping a close eye on these changes and will share updated information as we receive it.

Sources & Further Reading

USCIS Announces Final Rule Enforcing Long-Standing Public Charge Inadmissibility Law

AILA Files Lawsuit to Halt Last-Minute Form Changes as Administration Seeks to Implement Public Charge Rule

Public Charge information from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Featured Issue: Public Charge Changes at USCIS, DOJ, and DOS

Public Charge Fact Sheet

Public Charge information from the National Immigration Law Center

Michael Smallbone