President Biden sign Executive Order on the Public Charge Rule

Today, Wednesday February 2, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order titled “Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans”. In Section 4 of the Order, titled “Immediate Review of Agency Actions on Public Charge Inadmissibility,” President Biden is requiring the State Department, the Attorney General and the Department of Homeland Security to review the “public charge” policy implemented by the Trump Administration which resulted in the creation of the I-944 Public Charge Form. While we were hoping the Biden Administration would eliminate the need for the I-944, the executive order only calls for a review of the policy in line with the language of Section 1 of the order which states that the Federal Government should eliminate “sources of fear and other barriers that prevent immigrants from accessing government services available to them.” This language is directly aimed at the public charge review articulated in Section 4 of the order.

The agencies tasked with reviewing the public charge policy were given 60 days to submit their recommendations to the President.

We believe the I-944 requirement will be eliminated, at least for now it is still mandated and should be filed with every I-485 adjustment of status until further notice.

Given how slow Washington moves, and the fact that reports are not likely to even be submitted to the President for review for at least two more months, we see no reason to delay the filing of the adjustment of status, in hopes of avoiding the preparation of the I-944. There is a very strong probability that by the time an AOS filed now is adjudicated, the Public Charge Policy will no longer be effective and the I-944, although filed, will no longer be relevant to the adjudication process.

The text of the executive order can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/02/02/executive-order-on-restoring-faith-in-our-legal-immigration-systems-and-strengthening-integration-and-inclusion-efforts-for-new-americans/

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