Now that the dust has temporarily settled, USCIS has finally updated its website and made the I-944 available again under its list of available forms. Since all preliminary injunctions against the public charge rule have been lifted, the government will resume enforcing the new guidelines. (Note, however, that the Department of State is not, as of this date, requiring applicants to complete the new DS5540.) Since many adjustment of status applications were filed during the window between when the injunctions were granted to when they were finally lifted, there was still some question as to how those applications would be adjudicated. USCIS has somewhat addressed the issue by indicating the following:
· Any cases filed on or before October 13, 2020 must be accompanied by the I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency. If the I-944 is not enclosed, it will be rejected.
· “If you filed your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, after February 24, 2020, you may be required to file I-944”
In other words, applicants who filed for adjustment of status without the I-944 after the injunctions were issued may still, unfortunately, be required to complete the I-944. It is not clear whether all such applicants may be required nor when they will be required, ie., whether in the next couple of weeks or at the interview. From personal experience, we already have a Request for Evidence for a case that we filed after the injunction was lifted but prior to USCIS’s updated guidance. It is probable that we may receive more RFE’s in the future, and people in similar circumstances should expect, or at least not be surprised, if they are asked to submit the I-944.
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.