USCIS No Longer Applies Public Charge Rule

On March 9, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stopped applying and enforcing the August 2019 “Public Charge Final Rule” to all pending applications and petitions. Therefore, the agency removed content related to the Trump administration’s public charge rule from all affected USCIS forms and has made updated versions available to applicants and petitioners. 

Keep in mind, the DHS will now return to following the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, which determines if a person would likely become a public charge. Additionally, applicants must still submit Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) to show their income and financial ability. 

What is the Public Charge Rule? 

First established by Congress in 1882, the public charge rule allows the U.S. government to deny a U.S. visa to individuals who cannot support themselves and are likely to become primarily dependent on the government for public assistance. Under the Trump administration, the rule was broadly interpreted to include those who receive Medicaid, Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and public housing. 

How Will USCIS Rescind the Rule? 

The agency will not apply the rule to any application filed on or after March 9, 2021. In other words, applicants will not be required to file Form I-944 (Declaration of Self Sufficiency) along with any supporting documentation for this petition. 

What if I Already Filed and Received an RFE or NOID Because of the Public Charge Rule? 

Whether you received a request for evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) that includes providing information related to the public charge rule and your response is due on or after March 9, 2021, you do not need to respond. Yet, you must respond to any aspect or portion of the RFE or NOID that doesn’t have to do with the rule. 

When Will USCIS Only Accept New Forms? 

The agency will only accept 03/10/21 forms starting April 19, 2021. 

If you are interested in applying for a visa or adjusting your immigrant status in Illinois, Arizona, or Texas, contact Gambacorta Law today at (847) 443-9303 for experienced legal representation. We are ready to guide you through the complex immigration process.