Biden Administration Clears the Way to End the Trump-era Public Charge Rule

March 11, 2021

The Biden Administration has cleared the way to end one of the most onerous immigration reforms of the Trump Administration—the “Public Charge Rule” which required most applicants for Lawful Permanent Resident status (often called a “green card”) to provide copious amounts of documentation related to their finances, debts, education, employment skills, certifications, etc. The Public Charge rule, along with its associated Form I-944, Declaration of Self Sufficiency, redefined the public charge inadmissibility criteria by asking whether an individual was “more likely than not at any time in the future to receive one or more [of a list of nine] public benefits…for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period.” We have previously written about the implementation of this rule in August 2019 and again in February 2020.

Since its inception, the Public Charge rule has drawn numerous court challenges, some of which made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Recently, the Biden Administration chose not to defend the Trump-era rule. Instead, the Biden Administration asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case, which happened today. On the heels of this dismissal, a 7th Circuit decision, which vacated the Public Charge rule, is currently the nationwide precedent.

While we eagerly await further guidance from USCIS regarding today’s court decisions, we are pleased that this development will remove this significant obstacle to Lawful Permanent Resident Status. As we receive further guidance and updates, we will share this information with you.

 


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