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USCIS Delay in Publishing Forms to Cause Delays in Filing Certain Petitions and Applications

7 Oct

In August, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule on the public charge ground of inadmissibility.  The final rule becomes effective October 15, 2019 and impacts nonimmigrants and intending immigrants. Because existing USCIS forms do not ask applicants about prior receipt of public benefits, USCIS will publish revised forms for certain petitions and applications in order to implement the new rule.

USCIS has mandated that the new forms must be used beginning October 15th; however, USCIS has yet to publish the new forms and make them available to the public for use.  USCIS will not accept the current editions of the affected forms if the filing is postmarked on or after October 15.   Because of the USCIS delay, many filings will be delayed.  Additionally, documents prepared on the old forms will require preparation on the new forms if the petition or application is not filed before the deadline and effective date of the new forms.

The affected Form numbers are as follows: 

  • I-485 (application to adjust to permanent resident/green card),
  • I-129 (petition for H-1B, L-1 O-1, TN and other nonimmigrant petitions),
  • I-539 (application to change status such as for H-4, L-2, O-3, and TD),
  • I-864 (affidavit of support), and 
  • I-864EZ (affidavit of support). 

If your Foster attorney has sent you any of these forms for signature and return for filing, please return them as soon as possible along with any other information or documentation requested for filing.  NOTE:  For petitions requiring a Labor Condition application (LCA), the petition can only be filed once the LCA is certified by the U.S. Department of Labor, even if all other signed documents have been returned.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), of which all Foster attorneys are members, has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seeking an injunction to prohibit USCIS refusing to accept existing versions of the affected forms without having published new versions of the forms.

As always, for more information, or if  you have questions, your Foster attorney will be happy to assist you. Foster will provide additional updates on the release of new forms and the progress of litigation regarding the delayed form releases as appropriate on our website at www.fosterglobal.com