DHS Publishes New Forms Due to Public Charge Rule

Melsida Asatrian's picture

On January 27, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States stayed a universal injunction against the Department of Homeland Security's public charge final rule [see article]. The stay allows the public charge final rule, which was published in August [see article] and originally slated to take effect in October 2019, to come into force everywhere in the United States except for Illinois.

Following the Supreme Court's decision, the USCIS has announced that the final rule will be implemented nationwide — except in Illinois — beginning on February 24, 2020 [PDF version]. Accordingly, the USCIS has published new editions of forms affected by the new final rule. Applicants and petitioners filing on or after February 24, 2020, except for those in Illinois, will be required to use the new editions of the forms. The following are the affected forms:

Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Worker
Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
Form I-485 Supplement A, Supplement A to Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i)
Form I-485J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section 204(j)
Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (PDF)
Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA
Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member
Form I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA
Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver

The USCIS will not accept prior versions of the forms if they are postmarked on or after February 24, 2020, except in Illinois. Please see our companion blog for guidance for residents of Illinois [see blog]. For applicants in the rest of the country, the USCIS will accept the prior versions of these forms only if they were postmarked (or submitted electronically, if applicable), before February 24, 2020.

Furthermore, applicants for adjustment of status who are subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility will be required to submit the new Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, except for adjustment applicants in Illinois. Applicants whom the USCIS invites to post a public charge bond under the new final rule will use the new Form I-945, Public Charge Bond, for that purpose. Those applicants seeking to cancel a public charge bond will use the Form I-356, Request for Cancellation of Public Charge Bond.

The Final Rule itself was set to take effect on October 15, 2019. Accordingly, the text of the rule makes reference to a requirement to disclose whether the applicant applied for, was certified or approved to receive, or received certain non-cash benefits on or after October 15, 2019. Since the rule is taking effect nationwide outside of Illinois on February 24, 2020, rather than October 15, 2019, the USCIS has provided that it is applying all references to “October 15, 2019” in the final rule as though they refer to “February 24, 2020.”

The USCIS has also updated its Policy Manual with guidance on the implementation of the new public charge final rule. We will discuss that in a future article.

DHS Publishes New Forms Due to Public Charge Rule