Biden removes Trump’s public charge changes
The Biden Administration has announced that they will be removing former President Trump’s changes to the immigration law that created a “wealth test” to prevent some people who may have collected public benefits or were likely to collect public benefits from obtaining permanent residence. USCIS will now revert to the pre-Trump laws and regulations concerning who is likely to become a “public charge” if allowed to live permanently in the United States.
Included in the announcement was the removal of the new I-944 Affidavit of Self Sufficiency form that caused much worry and confusion with green card applicants. USCIS removed the I-944 from its webpage yesterday.
It is important to note that applicants still must prove they are unlikely to become a public charge, ie collect welfare, public assistance or other means-tested benefits, when applying for permanent residence. Petitioner’s still must show sufficient financial income to support the person they are filing for. This is a complex part of the application process that Gladstein & Messinger, queensimmigrationlaw.com, office will guide clients through.
USCIS provided the following guidance on its public charge page: https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/public-charge
On or after March 9, 2021, applicants and petitioners should not provide information required solely by the Public Charge Final Rule. That means that applicants for adjustment of status should not provide the Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, or any evidence or documentation required on that form with their Form I-485. Applicants and petitioners for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status should not provide information related to the 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).
If an applicant or petitioner has already provided such information, and USCIS adjudicates the application or petition on or after March 9, 2021, we will not consider any information provided that relates solely to the Public Charge Final Rule, including, for example, information provided on the Form I-944, evidence or documentation submitted with Form I-944, and information on the 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).
If you received a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) requesting information that is solely required by the Public Charge Final Rule, including but not limited to Form I-944, and your response is due on or after March 9, 2021, you do not need to provide the information solely required by the Public Charge Final Rule. However, you need to respond to the aspects of the RFE or NOID that otherwise pertain to the eligibility for the immigration benefit you are seeking. If USCIS requires additional information or evidence to make a public charge inadmissibility determination under the statute and consistent with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, we will send you another RFE or NOID. For information about the relevant court decisions, please see the litigation summary.