With New Public Charge Rule Come New and Revised USCIS Forms

Applying for an immigrant visa, green card, or change or extension of status in the United States? You'll soon need to meet new public charge restrictions, and fill out new or revised versions of USCIS forms to prove it.

** LEGAL UPDATE **

The Trump administration’s new “public charge” rule, which blocks from U.S. entry prospective immigrants who are found likely to become dependent on government support, is going into effect, after the Supreme Court overruled various legal challenges.

In implementing the new rule, and to find out whether applicants have used public benefits such as food stamps or Medicaid in the past and thus might be inadmissible to the U.S. as potential "public charges," U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has created new forms for applicants to fill out, and revised a number of other forms.

New forms. People applying for adjustment of status (a green card, when sought within the U.S.) who are subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility and to the new rule will have to submit Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency.

(There was an exception for people living in the state of Illinois, where the new rule was blocked by a federal court injunction, but the Supreme Court overrode the injunction in February of 2020.)

Certain applicants whom USCIS have asked to submit a public charge bond will need to use another new form, Form I-945, Public Charge Bond. Later, there's also a new Form I-356, Request for Cancellation of Public Charge Bond, by which someone who has met the requirements can request that the bond be canceled and their money returned.

Revised versions of existing forms. Applicants and petitioners will need to use new editions of the following forms:

After February 24, failure to submit one of the new forms (or at least the latest one shown on the USCIS website) will result in your application being returned to you, after which you'll have to refile in order to move forward.

Effective Date: February 24, 2020