Supreme Court Allows Trump’s Public Charge Rule to Take Effect Beginning February 24, 2020

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the Supreme Court’s recent ruling which will allow the public charge rule to go forward and be implemented by the government.


On January 27, 2020, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of the Trump administration allowing the government to implement the final rule “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” nationwide except for in the State of Illinois, where litigation remains pending.

Following the Court’s decision, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a news release on its website notifying the public that the agency will begin implementing the final rule on February 24, 2020 to applications and petitions postmarked (or submitted electronically) on or after February 24, 2020 (except for in the State of Illinois). For applications or petitions sent by a commercial courier (UPS/FedEx/ or DHL), the postmark date will be the date reflected on the courier receipt.

According to the press release, “The Final Rule prohibits DHS from considering an alien’s application for, certification or approval to receive, or receipt of certain non-cash public benefits before Oct. 15, 2019, when deciding whether the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge. In light of the duration of the recently-lifted nationwide injunctions and to promote clarity and fairness to the public, DHS will now treat this prohibition as applying to such public benefits received before Feb. 24, 2020.

Similarly, the Final Rule prohibits DHS from considering the receipt of public benefits by applicants for extension of stay and change of status before Oct. 15, 2019 when determining whether the public benefits condition applies, and DHS will now treat this prohibition as applying to public benefits received on or after Feb. 24, 2020.”

During the week of February 3, 2020, USCIS will publish updated forms, submission instructions, and Policy Manual guidelines that will outline the filing procedures and filing changes for adjustment of status petitions in light of the implementation of the public charge rule. We will provide updates as they are released by USCIS.

Please note that after February 24, 2020, USCIS will reject any prior editions of forms, if the form is postmarked on or after February 24, 2020, for all applicants except those in the State of Illinois.

Applicants must ensure that they have used the correct editions of these forms, otherwise USCIS will reject the filing and inform the applicant that they must submit a new application or petition using the correct forms.

To read more about the implementation of the rule click here.

You may also wish to review our summary of the public charge rule here.

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