June 20, 2021

Volume XI, Number 171

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June 18, 2021

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Biden Administration Abandons Trump-Era Public Charge Rule

On March 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the Biden administration would no longer enforce the 2019 public charge rule implemented by the Trump administration.

DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas stated that the 2019 public charge rule was unfair to individuals who “access health benefits and other government services available to them” and “was not in keeping with our nation’s values.” Further, Secretary Mayorkas said that additional reforms would be evaluated and implemented as the Biden administration seeks to improve the legal immigration system in the United States.

Following this announcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) noted that applicants seeking lawful permanent resident (i.e., green card) status are no longer required to submit Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, and the related supporting materials with their applications. In addition, USCIS stated that it would immediately cease “applying the [2019] Public Charge Final Rule to all pending applications and petitions.” Instead, USCIS will revert to the 1999 interim field guidance and only apply the public charge inadmissibility provision. The reversion to prior policy means the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility applies only to persons who might become “primarily dependent” on designated state and federal programs for more than half of their income or support. USCIS will also no longer apply the “public benefits condition” to applications or petitions for nonimmigrant extension and change of status filings.

If an applicant has received a Request for Evidence solely related to the public charge issue, a response may not be required. Applicants may want to carefully review such requests.

© 2021, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 82
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About this Author

Philip Shepherd, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Atlanta, Immigration Law Attorney
Associate

Philip is an immigration attorney in the Atlanta, GA office.  He has been practicing in the field of immigration since 2012. 

Philip focuses on employment-based immigration, counseling multinational organizations, providing guidance in securing immigration benefits for individual employees, and ensuring compliance with applicable regulations.  He also guides in strategic policy development related to all aspects of the nonimmigrant and immigrant visa process and filings before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Philip has...

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