Dear GreenCardHero Users,
On July 31, 2020, USCIS announced it will temporarily stop applying the new Public Charge Rule (which went into effect on Feb 24, 2020) to green card applications. This is in response to a U.S. District Court lawsuit decision that halted the new Public Charge Rule during the declared national health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to USCIS, as long as this court decision is in effect, applicants whose applications are postmarked on or after July 29, 2020 do not need to include the Form I-944, nor provide information about the receipt of public benefits on Form I-485. USCIS will issue guidance regarding the use of affected forms. In the interim, USCIS will not reject any Form I-485 on the basis of the inclusion or exclusion of Form I-944.
Keep in mind that this is an evolving situation and can change at any time without notice. Catholic Legal Immigration Network, one of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, anticipates that USCIS will appeal the court decisions and remove the injunction.
How does it affect me?
If you have already submitted your I-944 and I-485, you are safe and have nothing to do. 👍
If you will submit your I-485 while this temporary injunction is in effect, you do not need to submit Form I-944. However, as we mentioned earlier, this temporary injunction is subject to change at any time without notice, due to multiple reasons: the COVID-19 national health emergency declaration could end, USCIS could appeal the court decision, new USCIS guidance could be issued, etc.
So right before you submit your application, contact USCIS to make sure you are following the most current requirements. You can speak to USCIS representatives during weekdays. When you call, the automated system would ask you for a case number, but it is OK if you don’t have one – just tell the representative you are still preparing your application. Here is their contact info:
If you need to talk to a representative, and are in the United States or a U.S. territory, you can call the USCIS Contact Center. Dial 800-375-5283 (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability: TTY 800-767-1833). If you are outside the United States or a U.S. territory, you can call 212-620-3418. You can get live help from a USCIS representative Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern except on federal holidays.
How GreenCardHero will update the software
We have released a new version of GreenCardHero with warning banners in the I-944-related sections. You can choose to skip these sections. Due to the fast-changing nature of the current injunction, we think it make the most sense to keep Form I-944 accessible in the software.
Please check for our software updates regularly. You can see instructions on how to do that in this guide.
We understand the uncertainties this current situation creates for everyone. We are closely monitoring the situation and will keep you updated. We will share news updates via email or in the software to keep you updated. But when in doubt, you should contact USCIS for the latest guidance using the method provided above.
For your immigration success,
Wenqin and Toshiro
Founders of GreenCardHero