The I-944 form is a Declaration of Self Sufficiency and its purpose is to determine whether or not an immigrant will be able to support himself in the U.S. without having to use public benefits. This is known as the “Public Charge Rule“.
According to USCIS, “public charge” means an individual who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.
The I-944 form became mandatory for Adjustment of Status petitions earlier this year on February 24th, meaning that USCS would apply the public charge final rule to all applications and petitions postmarked or submitted electronically on or after Feb. 24, 2020, including pending applications and petitions.
But a lot of changes have happened since then, and the form I-944 has been switched from mandatory click here, to not required, to mandatory again and so on, making it very confusing for applicants and generating a wave of misinformation on whether or not to submit the form.
Today (09/22/2020), the USCIS updated their “Injunction of the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule” webpage again.
The article states that:
For Adjustment of Status cases (Green Card through Marriage) filed before October 13th 2020, USCIS will submit an RFE if the I-944 form is missing. For cases filed on or after October 13th 2020, USCIS will reject applications if the I-944 form is not submitted.
So to answer the question “Do I need to submit the I-944 form?”: Yes, as for now, you have to. Otherwise you expose yourself to an RFE or a denial.
Filling out this form is not complicated, but given how closely immigration cases are being scrutinized, we recommend you pay extra attention when doing it. If you would like to avoid any risks by having an experienced attorney representing you, please feel free to contact us!
If you are seeking representation in your immigration case, we invite you to contact us.
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