The New Public Charge Rule (also referred to as the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule, 84 FR 52357) has been brought to a halt.
On July 29, 2020, Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing, applying, implementing, or treating as effective the New Public Charge Rule during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The New Public Charge Rule, which came into effect on February 24, 2020, expands the definition of public charge and broadens the type of benefits that count against immigrants. Prior to this rule, public charge was defined as an individual who is likely to become ‘‘primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either (i) the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or (ii) institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.’’ 1999 Field Guidance on Deportability and Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.
As a result of the preliminary injunction, on July 31, 2020, USCIS issued a statement confirming that it will comply with the Court’s order and will not apply the New Public Charge Rule for applications adjudicated on or after July 29, 2020. Instead, while the injunction is in effect, USCIS will apply the 1999 Field Guidance mentioned above. Also, while the injunction is in place, individuals who file an adjustment of status application postmarked on or after July 29, 2020, will not be required to submit the Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency and nonimmigrant applicants will not be required to answer questions about their receipt of public benefits when seeking a change or extension of status.
Although this news comes as a relief to many applicants, it is extremely important to note that this preliminary injunction does not guarantee that applicants will not be subject to the New Public Charge Rule in the future or at the time of their adjustment of status interview. Applicants are encouraged to seek legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney prior to filing any application or petition with USCIS, especially since the New Public Charge Rule continues to be the subject of much litigation.
If you have any questions about public charge or any other immigration matters, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will continue to provide updates and information on the New Public Charge Rule as they develop.
Wilner & O’Reilly is a multi-state law firm exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. We understand the complexities of immigration law and have a team of experienced professionals who are here to help. We also offer free consultations and have offices in Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, and San Francisco, California; Salt Lake City and Orem, Utah; and Boise, Idaho.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
JULIANA RAMIREZ – ATTORNEY
Juliana Ramirez is an associate attorney at Wilner & O’Reilly. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School, where she graduated in the top 30% of her class. Mrs. Ramirez is admitted to the California State Bar. Mrs. Ramirez has dedicated her legal career to the practice of immigration law. She has extensive experience assisting clients with both employment-based and family-based immigration solutions. Also, as the daughter of an immigrant, she takes great pride in providing clients with tailor-made solutions to their individual situations and counseling them through the immigration process.
RICHARD WILNER – FOUNDING PARTNER
Richard M. Wilner is a founding member of Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC, and is Board Certified by the State Bar of California as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California and before the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California, the Northern District of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.Mr. Wilner has received the coveted Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating, the highest legal and ethical rating that one can receive from one’s peers in the legal community. Similarly, he has been awarded the title of Super Lawyer from 2007 to the present. He is best known for his work in advising Fortune 500 companies, middle and small market businesses, entrepreneurs, and foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in athletics, arts, and sciences in the complex area of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law.