The US District Court for the Southern District of New York on October 11 enjoined and halted enforcement of the new public charge rule that was due to become effective October 15, 2019. The court not only enjoined the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from “enforcing, applying, or treating as effective” the new public charge rule, but also prevented the use of any new or updated forms whose submission would be required under the final rule. This includes forms used for a variety of nonimmigrant visas such as the H-1B, L-1, and O-1, among others, and the forms used for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residency (a green card). Courts in the Northern District of California and the Eastern District of Washington also issued similar decisions shortly thereafter.

While the lawsuits are pending, the provisions of the rule as discussed in an earlier alert will not be effective with respect to any adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence application or for a change or extension of temporary nonimmigrant status application filed at this time and until the injunction is lifted.