COVID-19 UPDATE: During this national crisis, we remain available to serve the needs of both new and current clients. Phone and Video chat consultations are now available.
Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
  • Toll free: 888-404-5876
Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
  • "Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client's needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly... recommend this firm to anyone." Read More

  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family immigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

  • "Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution. A big thanks :)" Read More

DS-5540 Public Charge Questionnaire Now Required For Immigrant Visas

As we discussed last week, the Department of State took swift action to implement its own Final Rule on Public Charge Inadmissibility. Since February 24, 2020, all consular immigrant visa cases are now subject to the new guidelines, the intent of which are to essentially deny admission to individuals who are likely to become dependent on the government for assistance. Going forward, applicants will now to have complete the DS-5540 as part of the immigrant visa process. On that form, the applicant must disclose his/her household size; assets; debts/liabilities; and education/skills, among other things. In addition, applicants should be prepared to furnish supporting documentation including but not limited to proof of health insurance and tax return transcripts if the applicant filed taxes in the US. (If a family unit is applying together, only one DS-5540 is required.) 

One question which individuals currently awaiting their interviews are grappling with is whether they too will be required to complete this new form. In particular, these are applicants who have already finished submitting their documents to the National Visa Center via the CEAC system and received "completion letters." As of this writing, the anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that those whom NVC has already found to be "documentarily qualified" have not been asked to complete the questionnaire. Understand, however, that the rule just became effective on February 24, and procedures are subject to change to align with the new policy.

The prudent course of action for all applicants, regardless of whether NVC has found them documentarily qualified, is to be ready to submit the DS-5540 if necessary. Even if awaiting an interview, it is entirely possible that some applicants may be contacted before their interviews to complete the DS-5540 and upload it to CEAC, or bring with them to the interview. It is also very likely that some applicants will be asked to complete the questionnaire at the end of the consular interview if an officer determines that there is a public charge issue.

It should be noted that although the DS-5540 is mainly applicable to immigrant visas, consular officers are also authorized to require those applying for non-immigrant visas to complete if there are any public charge concerns.

In short, anybody who is not already a US Citizen intending on coming to the US should expect to undergo the Administration's immigration "wealth test." Even lawful permanent residents are not necessarily exempt from this ground of inadmissibility and can, under certain circumstances, potentially trigger legal questions as to their admissibility.

The public charge regulations are extraordinarily complex, with different rules coming from different sources and different rules applying within different contexts. To understand how this new rule impacts you or a family member, please contact our office for a Public Charge Consultation. The above is general information only. It is not specific legal advice nor intended to create an attorney client relationship. If you need advice, please consult with an attorney.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb
    • Client Distinction Award martindale.com | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationally Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
Email Us For A Response

Start Your Case Evaluation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

Map & Directions

icon phone732-516-1717 icon phone888-404-5876