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Department of Homeland Security's Public Charge Rule Has Been Blocked Nationwide

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Pasricha & Patel

On November 2, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge in the Northern District of Illinois vacated the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Public Charge regulation and ruled that it had violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). This ruling takes effect nationwide and with immediate effect. This means the USCIS cannot enforce the public charge rule and this will directly impact applicants who are filing for nonimmigrant change of status and extension of status petitions, as well as those applicants who are applying for adjustment of status petitions with the USCIS.

However, until the USCIS formally confirms this court order and instructs its various offices and service centers to stop the public charge rule requirement, it is possible that if applicants and employers do decide to submit their applications and petitions without including the public charge information (i.e. Form I-944 and its various supporting documentation) that the USCIS mailroom may reject such petitions.

While it is likely that the DHS will appeal this decision, there is no clear indication when such an appeal may be undertaken by the federal government.

We will continue to monitor the latest developments regarding this public charge rule court decision, and we strongly advise readers to continue to check back with our site for any further updates from the USCIS.

Should you have any questions regarding this or any other developments, we also advise you to contact our office and schedule formal consultation to discuss your case details further.

UPDATE:  After the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Illinois initially blocked the Department of Homeland Security’s Public Charge rule from being enforced, on November 3, 2020, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an administrative stay of the lower district court’s decision. This decision overrules the district court’s decision and it is with immediate effect. 

This means that applicants and petitioners will still need to continue to abide by the Public Charge Rule and adjustment of status applicants must continue to file the Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency.

Due to the continuing fluidity of this situation, we recommend readers to continue to follow our site for any latest news and updates. And should you have any specific questions about this or any other immigration-related matter, you should contact our office to schedule consultation.