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USCIS Rescinds the Public Charge Final Rule

March 23, 2021

In August 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced the Public Charge Final Rule, which required applicants for adjustment of status in the United States to submit Form I-944, ‘Declaration of Self-Sufficiency’, with supporting evidence. Widely known as a ‘wealth test’ that might deter many family-based applicants from applying for lawful permanent residence, USCIS has now rescinded this requirement and no longer requires answers to questions regarding the receipt of public benefits on certain immigration filings. USCIS explained that the questions solicited on the Declaration of Self-Sufficiency had been vetted in prior applications and were no longer needed in the adjustment of status context. 

Further, USCIS explained that applicants and petitioners would not be required to respond to USCIS requests for additional evidence due after March 9, 2021, in connection with previously submitted public benefits information for any pending matters. USCIS did confirm that it may still make a public charge inadmissibility determination for certain immigration benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act. 

The USCIS announcement further confirmed that it will revert to its public benefits policy under its 1999 Interim Final Guidance on this issue moving forward.

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