The USCIS announced last week that it will no longer apply Former U.S. President, Donald Trump’s Public Charge Rule.
Under the public charge rule, immigrants to the United States classified as likely or liable to become a Public Charge may be denied visas or permission to enter the country due to their lack of economic resources.
In August 2019, the Trump administration had announced plans to impose the new rule. Numerous lawsuits were filed in efforts to stop the rule from being implemented, which resulted in a ruling by a federal court in July 2020, which prevented the government from applying the rule during the pandemic. The Trump administration appealed and won the argument in a higher federal court decision issued the following month.
However, since that time, form I-944 was removed from the USCIS website and the agency kept silent about its intentions to reimpose it, until the recent surprise announcement on September 22, 2020.
The rule required all residency applicants seeking permanent residency in the United States to submit form I-944 – a declaration of self-sufficiency, along with documentation to establish assets, income and the likelihood that they would not have to rely on public assistance in the future.
But effective March 9, residency applicants no longer need to submit Form I-944. The USCIS notice says it will not review any I-944 forms already submitted, and that applicants can disregard Request for Evidence of Notice of Intent to Deny that request information related to the Public Charge Final Rule.
However, my suggestion is that those who receive such requests should instead simply write their name and address and sign it and send it back in. This is a safeguard to make sure that your case continues to progress through the system smoothly.
** Contributions to this Column are made by Attorney Caroly Pedersen, Esq. of the American Immigration Law Center – Call 954-382-5378