On January 27, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed a nationwide injunction that prevented the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) from enforcing its new “public charge” rule. First published in August 2019, the new rule broadened how the agency will determine whether a foreign national applying for admission or adjustment of status is inadmissible if the foreign national is deemed a public charge or likely at any time to become a public charge. The rule was scheduled to take effect on October 15, 2019, but several federal courts had issued nationwide injunctions preventing the rule from taking effect. With the Supreme Court’s stay of the last remaining nationwide injunction on Monday, DHS may now implement the new public charge rule nationwide with the exception of the state of Illinois where a statewide injunction remains in effect.
Prior to the rule being enjoined this past October, US Citizenship and Immigration Services finalized new editions of certain forms to address the public charge changes. These forms include the I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. In the past, the agency had indicated that it would not accept any other editions of current forms.
Given that USCIS now has the greenlight to implement the public charge changes, it is not clear if, and when, the agency will act. If the agency moves forward with making new forms available, it is also not clear whether the agency will accept existing forms. Despite the uncertainty, our firm continues to work as efficiently as possible to finalize and file cases as soon as possible. In the event the agency does not accept existing editions of forms, our legal team will prepare new forms for signature.
We will work to continue keeping cases moving and getting them filed with USCIS, and we will provide updates as they arise.
Please contact a member of our legal team if you have any questions regarding the new public charge rule and its implementation.
** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **