The government is again proposing major changes to current immigration policies, this time with goal I-864, affidavit to support.
The law requires petitioners who want to immigrate their immediate relatives to the United States to submit an affidavit on Form I-864 to ensure the government that the foreigner will not be publicly charged after entering the country.
This applies regardless of whether the immigrant applies for an overseas immigration visa or whether the immigrant adapts his status to a legal permanent residence in the United States.
The sworn declaration of support has recently been reviewed by the Trump administration.
The President was primarily concerned with obtaining government benefits from foreigners to which he is not entitled, and has attempted to enforce a government sponsor’s obligation to provide funds to foreigners.
To this end, the President signed one on May 23, 2019 memorandum enforce the legal responsibility of sponsors of the affidavit, and require them to reimburse government agencies if a foreigner has received certain public benefits such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Shortly thereafter, the government passed the controversial “public indictment” rule, which was an obstacle to permanent residence for foreigners who received certain public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period, including additional social security income and temporary help for Families in Need, Medicaid, Non-Emergency Medicaid, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance, Section 8 Housing and Other Forms of Subsidized Housing. The government has also created a Whole Circumstances Test to analyze whether an applicant would likely file a public indictment.
Recently a 30 day note The document, published by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), has been published in the Federal Register and is to inform the public of new changes to the affidavit.
The proposed rule
The 30 days note outlines new changes to the affidavit that may be enforced in the coming months.
USCIS will, among other things, make changes to the language and instructions of Form I-864 to clarify a sponsor’s obligations and penalties that could be imposed to make a sponsor financially responsible if an immigrant receives public benefits.
In addition, USCIS suggests that sponsors provide confidential bank account information and information about previously filed affidavits. This collection of bank account information is extremely controversial since USCIS has never required sponsors to provide such information, and it is unclear how data on these statements could be used or collected.
The proposal would also require signatures on forms I-864, I-864EZ and I-864A to be notarized prior to submission, causing additional costs and tremendous inconvenience to sponsors worldwide.
While the affidavit does not require sponsors to provide credit reports, the proposed rule would allow sponsors to provide their credit reports as evidence of financial standing.
What happens next?
At this point, the comment period for the proposed rule has expired. This means that the government will review public comments over the next few months and finalize a settlement. When the final rule is published, it includes the enforcement date. As soon as a final regulation is published in the Federal Register, it generally applies at least 30 days after its publication date.
If this proposal were adopted, would it affect applications that are already in the pipeline?
No, if the proposal is accepted, it will only affect requests submitted on or after the rule’s effective date.
Where can I find more information about the rule?
To read and track the progress of the rule, please click Here.
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