Client Alerts

USCIS to Implement Public Charge Inadmissibility Rule in February

By: David W. Leopold

About: Immigration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Friday that it will begin implementing the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule starting February 24, 2020. The rule’s implementation will occur across the country, except in Illinois where the rule remains enjoined by a federal court.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sought a stay of this injunction from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the nationwide injunctions, and USCIS will provide updated guidance if the injunction in Illinois is lifted.

USCIS will only apply the final rule to applications and petitions postmarked or submitted electronically on or after February 24, 2020. The postmark date for applications and petitions that are sent by a commercial courier, such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL, is the date on the courier receipt. After February 24, 2020, USCIS will reject prior editions of forms if they are postmarked on or after that date. If USCIS receives an application or petition on an incorrect edition of the form, the applicant or petitioners will have to submit a new application or petition.

In addition, when DHS is determining whether a person is likely to become a public charge in the future it will not consider that person’s application for, certification or approval to receive, or receipt of certain non-cash public benefits before February 24, 2020. DHS will only consider public benefits received on or after February 24, 2020 for the public benefits condition for applications or petitions for extension or stay or change of status.

USCIS said it is committed to determining the fairest and most effective implementation method, and will post updated forms, submission instructions, and Policy Manual guidance to its website in the near future to give applicants, petitioners, and others time to review updated procedures and forms.

Ulmer keeps a close eye on breaking immigration news from across the country. For more information about the implementation of the Public Charge rule, please reach out to our Immigration Law Group.