Form I-944 Required for Green Card Filings (Again)
Once again, the courts have allowed the “public charge rule” to go into effect, staying a November 2, 2020 decision that vacated the DHS rule. The November 2, 2020 ruling in the district court in Cook County, Illinois, et al v. Wolf et. al., (19-cv-6334), granted summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs on their claim that DHS’s Public Charge Rule, 84 Fed. Reg. 41,292 (Aug. 14, 2019) violates the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 701 et. seq. The district court specifically ruled that:
- the public charge exceeds DHS’s authority under the public charge provision of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(4)(A);
- is not in accordance with law; and
- is arbitrary and capricious.
Therefore, the court immediately set aside the DHS Public Charge Rule nationwide without staying its decision pending appeal. However, on November 3, 2020, the Seventh Circuit issued an administrative stay, effective immediately. This ruling dictates that all adjustment of status (Form I-485) green card filings must be filed with Form I-944 once again.
All applications and petitions subject to the rule postmarked or submitted after February 24, 2020 will be required to submit the I-944 form. USCIS will issue Requests for Evidence in those cases that did not include the form until October 13, 2020. If the I-944 form is not included after October 13, 2020, Form I-485 will be rejected at the time of filing. It is not clear whether cases issued between the November 2 and November 3 rulings will be treated. The cases will either be rejected and returned or will be accepted and a Request for Evidence (RFE) will be issued for the I-944 form and required documentation.
Additional Public Charge Resources
- Background: Public Charge Rule Increases Hurdles for Legal Immigration
- Effects of Unemployment Benefits and COVID-19 on Public Charge Inadmissibility for Green Cards
- Evidence of Self-Sufficiency: Required Public Charge Documentation for Form I-944
- Public Charge Form Now Required (September 2020 update)
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