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On October 10, 2018, DHS published a proposed rule related to public charge in the Federal Register. The proposed rule is not current law. The timing of the publication of a final rule is uncertain, and even after publication, legal challenges could delay implementation.
Since then, there have been a lot of questions about current adjudications of Form I-864, Affidavits of Support. Make sure that you have the resources to stay on top of the changing environment.
According to USCIS, an affidavit of support is a document an individual signs to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently. The person who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor of the relative (or other individual) coming to live in the United States. The sponsor is usually the petitioner of an immigrant petition for a family member.
An affidavit of support is legally enforceable; the sponsor's responsibility usually lasts until the family member or other individual either becomes a U.S. citizen, or can be credited with 40 quarters of work (usually 10 years).
The law concerning affidavits of support is found in Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sections 212(a)(4) and 213A. The provisions are codified in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 8 CFR 213a.
Preparing affidavits of support on behalf of your intending family immigrant clients presents many ethical issues. Learn how to overcome common risks, identify your duties, and avoid an ethical complaint.
Submitting a successful I-864 in order to shield your client from a finding of inadmissibility based upon the public charge ground has never been simple. Should DHS’s proposed rules regarding “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” take effect, this area of immigration law will become even more cumbersome, as USCIS and the consulates will look far beyond the affidavit of support to determine whether an applicant is likely to become a “public charge.” Our expert panelists will analyze both the current and proposed public charge rules and explain which public benefits could sabotage your client’s application.