Published February 8, 2020

By: Richard Hanus, Esq.

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent green light, U.S. immigration authorities have announced it will start applying new “public charge” restrictions on February 24, 2020.  The new set of public charge rules expand the discretionary authority of agency officials to deny green card applications and allow for more factors to be considered in determining whether an applicant is likely to be become dependent on welfare benefits and thus have their application denied.

The new set of restrictions were initially set to be implemented on October 15, 2019 but various lawsuits and federal court injunctions prevented them from taking effect.  But in recent weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing the new restrictions to take effect while the fight over their legality is ongoing, although the injunction against its implementation in Illinois continues.

The new public charge rules apply to both applicants for permanent residence (adjustment of status) as well as to non-immigrants applying to change or extend their non-immigrant visa status.  Filings postmarked on or after February 24, 2020 will be reviewed under these new guidelines.

Updated forms incorporating these new rules are now available at the US CIS website – and prospective applicants are advised to use these new forms starting February 24.  For certain, applicants will notice that the new versions of these forms, including a brand new form, Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, are requiring parties to provide significantly more personal and financial data, including credit information.

PUBLISHED February 8, 2020– “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2020, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois