Visa Crunch

Green Card Applicants will need to declare self-sufficiency after 13th October

The Trump administration is going to resume the implementation of public charge rule, which will require Indians as well as other seeking American citizenship to file a declaration of self-sufficiency. The US Department of Homeland Security just announced that it will apply public charge rule to all the applications that have been submitted on or after 24th February 2020. 

Applicants who are filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence after that date may need to file Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency. If the USCIS receives a Form I-485 before 13th October 2020, that does not have all required forms it would request any missing forms or evidence to the applicant. On the other hand, after 13th October, the agency will reject I-485 Forms if it does not include the I-944 Self-Sufficiency form at the time of filing. 

USCIS also clarified that it would ask for the following missing evidence too- 

  1. Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
  2. Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker
  3. Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  4. Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

In July a federal judge blocked the public charge rule. Although, on 11th September 2020 the court decided that it will allow DHS to resume implementing the Public Charge Rule nationwide. However, USCIS will not re-adjudicate any applications that have been approved during this that time frame. The September court decision overrules the injunction that came earlier which prevents the DHS from enforcing the Public Charge rule during a national health emergency.

Liability to prove that the applicant would not be becoming a public charge applies to all non-immigrant visa applicants such as H-1B, F1, B-1, H-4, L-1, EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 and L-2. 

The public benefits that can affect worker immigrants if used for more than 12 months in any 36 months include federally funded Medicaid. Receipt of Medicaid during an emergency medical condition is not taken into consideration. Medical benefits received by an alien less than 21 years of age or pregnant women are also excluded.

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