The Public Charge Inadmissibility Final Rule was issued in August 2019 and was to go into effect October 2019, when a preliminary injunction with national scope was granted that prevented the Department of Homeland Security from implementing the rule. On Jan. 27, 2020, the Supreme Court stayed the national injunction, and DHS may now implement the rule, except in the state of Illinois.

For practitioners, employers, and beneficiaries, the implementation of the Public Charge Inadmissibility Final Rule will dramatically affect the preparation and submission of petitions and applications. The Final Rule applies to the following forms, and will be effective for all submissions postmarked on or after Feb. 24, 2020.

  • Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker
  • Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker
  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • Form I-485 Supplement A, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i)
  • Form I-485 Supplement J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section 204(j)
  • 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 Act
  • Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver
  • Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
  • Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • Form I-539 online

For purposes of this blog, the summarized changes will be provided for Forms I-129, I-485, and Form I-539 as follows:

  • Form I-129: For a petition that seeks a change of a beneficiary’s status or an extension of stay in the United States, the beneficiary must complete an addendum regarding the receipt of public benefits, if any. This form is still signed by the petitioner.
  • Form I-485: An extra section is added regarding the declaration of Self-Sufficiency. Note that Form I-944 is needed for most I-485 applications.
  • Form I-539: An extra section is added regarding the receipt of public benefits, if any.

In addition, three new forms have been published, including:

  • Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency
  • Form I-945, Public Charge Bond
  • Form I-356, Request for Cancellation of Public Charge Bond

For purposes of this blog, the focus will be on new Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, which must be filed with every Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, except for certain classes of aliens.

Form I-944 asks the following information through 18 pages (highlights below):

  • Biographic information
  • Household information
  • Household income and financial information, including the applicant’s and household member’s assets, resources, and financial status

– Note: The household’s annual gross income should be at least 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

– Documents: IRS transcripts for the most recent tax year must be included

  • A list of liabilities and debts
  • Credit report and score

– Note: A credit report will need to be run.

  • Health insurance information

– Documents: The policy must be submitted showing the terms and type of coverage and individuals covered. The health insurance card must have effective and expiration dates.

  • Disclosure of any use of public benefits
  • Education and skills information

– Documents: If applicable, transcripts, diplomas, degrees, and certificates must be provided. For occupational skills, evidence of training or licenses should be provided if available.

  • Retirement information

– Documents: Evidence of income from pensions, social security, or other retirement benefits should be included.