Public Charge Changes at USCIS, DOJ, and DOS

Public Charge Changes at USCIS, DOJ, and DOS

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DHS Final Rule: On October 11, 2019, several courts enjoined and restrained DHS and USCIS from “enforcing, applying, or treating as effective” the DHS Public Charge Final Rule. In addition, courts specifically enjoined the government 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. On December 5, 2019, a divided federal appeals court lifted several injunctions blocking the implementation but the policy remains on hold because there are still two nationwide injunctions from judges in Maryland and New York City. On January 8, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied the government’s motion to stay the nationwide preliminary injunction issued by the Southern District Court of New York, which keeps the nationwide public charge injunction in place.

DOS Interim Final Rule: In January 2018, DOS revised the FAM instructing consular officers to consider a wider range of public benefits when determining whether a visa applicant is inadmissible. On October 15, 2019, DOS published an interim final rule to align DOS’s public charge standards with those of DHS, and then on October 24, DOS published the DS-5540, Public Charge Questionnaire for public comment. The interim final rule will not be implemented until the form and FAM revisions have been finalized. Given the public comment period for the form, the DOS rule will not be implemented in 2019.


Source: AILA Doc. No. 19050634.

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