Beginning on February 24th, 2020, most non-citizens applying for a greencard have been subject to a dramatic change in the Public Charge Rule. This change is going to present an additional burden on those seeking a greencard, including the need to fill out and submit a new form, the need to present additional evidence, and the potential need for a joint sponsor. It will also increase the number of greencard denials.
What is the Public Charge Rule?
Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act makes any person likely to become a public charge inadmissible. The applicant has the burden of proof. This means that most applicants for greencards must prove to the government that you are not likely to become a public charge. In the past, it was usually enough to submit an I-864, Affidavit of Support from the Petitioner (U.S. citizen spouse, parent, etc.) along with tax returns showing that the Petitioner made 125% of the federal poverty level. This is no longer the case. Now, the government requires a completely new form, Form I-944 to be filed by the applicant, along with new additional evidence.