Biden Administration Halts Public Charge Rule


USCIS said it would no longer apply the rule to green card applications

Mar 10, 2021


The Biden administration announced Wednesday it would halt the public charge rule, a Trump-era policy that made it harder for low-income immigrants to obtain green cards. The decision follows a Supreme Court ruling dismissing a series of pending appeals over the controversial policy.

What does this mean for you?

Green card applicants filing on or after March 9 will no longer need to include Form I-944 (officially called the “Declaration of Self-Sufficiency”) when applying from within the United States. For those applying from outside the United States, Form DS-5440 (“Public Charge Questionnaire”) was already blocked by a preliminary injunction, and USCIS will likely also do away with that form.

The public charge rule isn’t going away completely — the latest version of the rule, which first took effect on Feb. 24, 2020, will simply be replaced by the previous, longstanding policy issued in 1999.

For those applying from within the United States (using adjustment of status):

The person seeking a green card won’t need to include a long list of supporting documents. These are:

  • Most recent tax transcript
  • Household members’ ID documents (sponsor’s still required for other forms)
  • Household members’ most recent tax transcripts (sponsor’s still required for other forms)
  • Applicant’s and other household members’ proof of additional income
  • Applicant’s and other household members’ assets, debts, and liabilities
  • U.S. credit report and score
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Education diplomas/transcripts and occupational certificates/licenses
  • Proof of english language proficiency
  • Proof of additional language ability
  • Primary caregiver documentation (if applicable)

For those applying from outside the United States:

Currently, you don’t need to include DS-5540 with your application, but we will update this page as we learn more.

What if I already filed Form I-944?

If an applicant has already filed their green card with Form I-944 attached, USCIS said in a statement that it would not consider any information related to the rule when reviewing petitions on or after March 9.

Applicants can also ignore Requests for Evidence, or RFE’s, with a deadline on or after March 9 asking for information that was required by the public charge rule. However, applicants should respond to an RFE for other requests.

Boundless will continue to update this page as we learn more.


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