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Supreme Court Votes to Lift Injunction Blocking Public Charge Policy

UPDATE: USCIS Releases New and Revised Forms associated with Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule

February 19, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released new and revised forms which must be used for applications and petitions received on and after February 24, 2020. The change is associated with the February 24, 2020 implementation of the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule, which expands USCIS’ grounds to deny applications for permanent residence and petitions for nonimmigrant status based upon the beneficiary’s or applicant’s use of public benefit programs.

The new and revised forms include Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker; Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status; Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; Form I-864 Affidavit of Support; Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency and Form I-945 Public Charge Bond.

The forms ask if the beneficiary or applicant has used public benefits including: Any Federal, State, local or tribal cash assistance for income maintenance; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); General Assistance (GA); Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called “Food Stamps”); Section 8 Housing Assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program; Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (including Moderate Rehabilitation); Public Housing under the Housing Act of 1937, 42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq. and Federally-Funded Medicaid.  If the beneficiary or applicant has received or is certified to receive any of these benefits, additional information about the benefits must be included on the forms.

If you have any questions about the new and revised forms or the implementation of the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule please contact us.

 

Supreme Court Votes to Lift Injunction Blocking Public Charge Policy

January 27, 2020

In a 5-4 vote today, The U.S. Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request to lift the injunction that blocked Trump’s public charge policy.

The public charge policy, which was slated to take affect October 15, 2019, expands U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grounds to deny applications for permanent residence and petitions for nonimmigrant status based upon the applicant’s or beneficiary’s use of public benefit programs.

While cash assistance programs and programs that support institutionalized long-term care have long disqualified immigration eligibility, the new policy considers receipt of non-Cash Benefits such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Nutrition programs, including Food Stamps and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Housing Benefits as factors in making public charge decisions. Under the policy, immigration officers can also consider factors such as age, educational level and English proficiency to decide whether an immigrant would be likely to become a public charge.

The public charge policy was prevented from going into effect on October 11, 2019 when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted a motion for a preliminary injunction which prevented the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS from “enforcing, applying, or treating as effective” the public charge policy. The court prevented USCIS from implementing the use of any new or updated forms whose submission would be required under the Final Rule, including the Form I-129, Form I-485, Form I-539, Form I-864, Form I-864 EZ, Form I-944 and Form I-945.

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the injunction, it is expected that USCIS will implement the policy and require the submission of new information that will be used to evaluate whether beneficiaries are likely to receive a wide range of public benefits. Still, USCIS has not updated their website to reflect implementation of the public charge policy nor have they released updated forms reflecting the policy.

Our office will provide updates as new Forms I-129, Form I-485, Form I-539, Form I-864, Form I-864 EZ, Form I-944 and Form I-945 are released. If you have any questions about implementation of the policy please contact us.

 

For more information visit U.S. Supreme Court allows Trump’s ‘public charge’ immigration curb and

Supreme Court Issues Stay of Nationwide Injunction Against DHS Public Charge Rule

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