Clarity and Strength in Immigration Law

Form I-944 Fun: The Latest Update from USCIS

The Form I-944 relating to Trump’s “new” requirements on the public charge has been required for most adjustment of status filings, then not required, and all over the place in between due to ongoing federal litigation for most of 2020. We last wrote about it in August, when it was announced that it was not required.

On September 11th, 2020 a federal court in the Second Circuit decided that USCIS could implement the Form I-944 nationwide. However, following that court decision, the Form I-944 was not on the USCIS website, and USCIS had not issued any revised instructions about whether the Form I-944 was required or not. That left applicants and their well-meaning attorneys in limbo, not knowing whether to submit the form or not.

As of September 22, 2020, we have some clarity from USCIS (though it’s not the instructions we wanted):

  • USCIS will apply the public charge final rule and related guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to all applications and petitions postmarked (or submitted electronically) on or after February 24, 2020. USCIS will not re-adjudicate any applications and petitions that were approved between July 29, 2020 and September 22, 2020.
  • If you have filed the Form I-485 before Oct. 13, 2020 (but on/after Feb. 24, 2020) and you did not include Form I-944 and the supporting evidence, USCIS will request the missing forms and evidence; that is, USCIS will issue an RFE (request for additional evidence) asking for it.
  • If you file Form I-485 after Oct. 13, 2020 and you do not include Form I-944 and the supporting documentation, USCIS will reject your filing.

The Form I-944 (and required supporting documentation) is one of the most complex immigration forms out there, in our opinion. If you need help navigating this process with confidence, please contact us today to get the process underway! We are immigration lawyers in Richmond, VA but we serve clients throughout the US and around the world. You can call us at 804-396-3412 or send us an email to info@sumnerimmigration.com. We look forward to hearing from you.