Public Charge Changes at US Embassies and Consulates

Public charge changes at US embassies and consulates. We had released a video about this previously. Form I-944 and those changes in the public charge rule had been ended. There was a lot of confusion and so, let’s clarify them and also explain the changes at US embassies and consulates with regard to public charge.

Basically, there was a new public charge rule or an extension of the public charge rule that created an additional form, form I-944 and a bunch of other evidence that is required. That form has been removed. But the I-944 form and extension of the public charge was for individuals applying in the United States through USCIS.

For individuals who are going through a consular processing through a spouse visa specifically, when you go through US embassies and consulates, it’s under the Department of State. That’s where it gets a little confusing for individuals. There’s USCIS and there’s applications that happen inside of the US and then there’s also applications that occur abroad.

There’s confusion because the steps, forms and processes are different for both applications. The Department of State also made their own announcement. The Department of State had a form DS-5540, that was the equivalent of form I-944 in USCIS for individuals applying within the United States.

The Department of State made their official announcement that the public charge changes, that DS-5540 is no longer required and you shouldn’t fill it out. The official announcement says they don’t need it. That everything has reverted back to prior public charge.

Read: Update on Public Charge

The clarification that I want to make is a lot of people were wanting to know and wondering, “Does this mean that I don’t have to fill out form I-864?”

You still need to fill up form I-864, the affidavit of support, and tax returns. All of that will still be required. It’s just that new form, DS-5540 is no longer required.

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