Department of Homeland Security Public Charge Rule Reinstated for all States Except for Vermont, Connecticut, and New York

On July 30, 2020, New York District Court Judge George Daniels issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on the public charge rules. On August 12, 2020, a Second Circuit Court of Appeals order limited the nationwide injunction to Vermont, Connecticut, and New York only. This means that all change of status applicants living in states other than Vermont, Connecticut, and New York must submit a Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency. In Vermont, Connecticut, and New York, DHS must continue to apply the public charge guidance that was in place before the public charge rule effective date of February 24, 2020.

In the new public charge rule, DHS has revised the definition of “public charge” to incorporate consideration of more kinds of public benefits received. The rule defines the term “public charge” to mean an individual who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months, in the aggregate, within any 36-month period (such that, for instance, receipt of two benefits in one month counts as two months). The rule further defines the term “public benefit” to include any cash benefits for income maintenance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), most forms of Medicaid, and certain housing programs. For more information, please click here.

The DHS should issue guidance soon regarding the procedure of submitting the applications for the different States. This only impact adjustment of status completed inside the United States. This does not impact the State Department’s public charge rules enforced at consulates.

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