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Due to Injunction, USCIS to Apply 1999 Public Charge Rule
July 29, 2020 injunction by the U.S. District Court SDNY to counteract more recent 2019 changes to the treatment of the Public Charge grounds of inadmissibility. These recent changes increased the financial overview process for intending immigrants. Federal poverty guidelines, previously used as a threshold of sufficient income (over 125% Federal Poverty guidelines income for a family of that size), become a minimum requirements, with other factors considered. Some intending immigrants had sufficient income under the previous standards of 125% Federal poverty guidelines, and were still denied based on Public Charge grounds.
ALERT From USCIS on changes to the Public Charge Grounds: On July 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) in State of New York, et al. v. DHS, et al. and Make the Road NY et al. v. Cuccinelli, et al. enjoined the Department of Homeland Security from enforcing, applying, implementing, or treating as effective the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule (84 FR 41292, Aug. 14, 2019, final rule; as amended by 84 FR 52357, Oct. 2, 2019, final rule correction) for any period during which there is a declared national health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
As long as the July 29, 2020, SDNY injunction is in effect, USCIS will apply the 1999 public charge guidance that was in place before the Public Charge Rule was implemented on Feb. 24, 2020 to the adjudication of any application for adjustment of status on or after July 29, 2020. In addition, USCIS will adjudicate any application or petition for extension of nonimmigrant stay or change of nonimmigrant status on or after July 29, 2020, consistent with regulations in place before the Public Charge Rule was implemented; in other words, we will not apply the public benefit condition.
For more information on the recent injunction regarding Public Charge, please see USCIS link: https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/public-charge/injunction-of-the-inadmissibility-on-public-charge-grounds-final-rule.