Effective immediately, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is permanently ending enforcement of the public charge rule finalized by the Trump Administration in August 2019. This stems from successful legal challenges to the final rule, and the Biden Administration’s decision to cease the federal government’s opposition to the lawsuits.

By eliminating the 2019 rule, the USCIS has now reverted to applying the far less draconian public charge rule laid out in the 1999 interim field guidance. Moreover, the declaration of self-sufficiency (form I-944) requirement has been entirely eliminated.

The USCIS is not applying the 2019 public charge rule to any case adjudicated on or after March 9, 2021, regardless of when the case was filed. Any petitioner or applicant who has been issued a request for evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to deny (NOID) that is based solely on the 2019 public charge rule, and is due on or after March 9th, does not need to respond.

The USCIS implied that it is in the process of updating forms that include now-unenforceable public charge questions. In the meantime, the USCIS will not reject or deny applications or petitions based on responses to those questions, even if those questions are left blank.

Posted in: Immigration