Major Immigration Form Changes Underway: Be Careful What You Submit!

If you're almost ready to turn in a form that's on the list of USCIS forms about to become obsolete, better get it submitted now!

By , J.D.


If you're applying for any of a variety of immigration benefits—adjustment of status, a visa for a temporary worker, or an extension of your nonimmigrant stay under a work or other temporary visa—now is a difficult time to make plans.

The problem is that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) intends to stop accepting the current versions of the following forms if they're postmarked on or after October 15, 2019:

  • Form I-485
  • Form I-129
  • Form I-539, and
  • Form I-864, and I-864EZ.

If you submit one of those after that date, and it's not an updated version, your whole application will be returned to you.

Underlying this is the issue that the agency is making major changes to who is inadmissible as a likely public charge, and President Trump issued an executive order barring entry to many immigrant visa applicants who do not have health insurance lined up in advance. The new forms are expected to address these matters and might also require additional forms of evidence.

Unfortunately, the new forms are not actually available yet. And given how long it normally takes a government agency to create new forms, there could well be a gap in what's available.

Where does this leave applicants who are in the process of applying for a green card or visa? If you're almost ready to turn in a form that's on the above list, get it in now, before the switch takes effect!

Your other best hope is that immigrant advocacy organizations successfully file suit to block this change. The American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA), for example, has filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to immediately enjoin (put a hold on) USCIS's "arbitrary and capricious plan to stop accepting the current versions," in an effort to ensure a workable transition.

And as always, you can download the latest version of the various forms for free on the USCIS website.

Effective Date: October 15, 2019