Who Completes the Public Charge Section

The new public charge rule came out and will be in effect on December 2023. They have switched to all new forms and the forms for the I-485, which is the adjustment of status and have an additional section on the form that addresses the public charge ground of inadmissibility.

See: DHS’s Public Charge Final Rule Goes Into Effect on Dec. 23

Additionally, it helps USCIS address that public charge right from the application itself. We had a recent question about who fills out that section especially when you are filing a concurrent I-130 as you might do with a parent or even a spouse possibly that’s in the US that is then eligible to apply for adjustment.

Applicants for adjustment of status the USCIS must consider certain factors such as age, health, family status, assets, resources, and financial status. Those things are the minimum of what USCIS needs to look at and we’ve addressed exemptions and non-exempt, people who are not exempt from having to even file or fill out that portion of the I-485.

Not everyone is non-exempt but if you do have to fill out this portion, which is the majority of people who are filling out that I-485, it is addressing the applicant. The applicant is going to be the one who’s going to fill out that section so there’s an emphasis on a couple of different portions.

First of all, any education or skills which can be possibly transferred to a workforce. That would weigh one factor in favor of not being a public charge and not becoming a public charge.

This really has nothing to do with the sponsor. If you’re still leading a sponsor, that person will be addressed on the Affidavit of Support. This is really totally separate and it’s looking at the applicant themselves.

One of the other focuses or emphasis in this new rule is looking at financial status. Not only are they looking at your income, but they’re also looking at what kind of debt they have. That way we avoid over-inflating the wealth of that person to know exactly where they stand as far as their financial status to then determine whether or not they are at risk of becoming a public charge.

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