Public Charge Final Rule

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has implemented a final rule on inadmissibility on public charge grounds. DHS will look at the factors required under the law by Congress, like an alien’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, and financial status, education and skills, among others, in order to determine whether the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge. Read more here: https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/public-charge

Visa Bulletin 02/2020

The Visa Bulletin provides updated priority date information for family-based and employment-based green cards.


Immigrants to the US are classified into two categories – those requiring placement on a waiting list and those not through their relationship to a US immediate relative. Further, there are numerical quotas on the green cards that require a priority date. If the number of applicants in a year is over the available visa numbers, those applicants are placed on a waiting list and are given a priority date, which estimates when an applicant would get a visa based on the number of previous applicants on the waiting list. Below are preference category information and visa allocations.


FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCESFirst: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.
Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:
A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

Below is the link for the Visa Bulletin for February 2020.


https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-for-February-2020.html

Birth Tourism Update

The U.S. Department of State is amending its B nonimmigrant visa regulation to address birth tourism such that U.S. consular officers overseas will deny any B visa application from an applicant whom the consular officer has “reason to believe is traveling for the primary purpose of giving birth in the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for their child.” Learn more here: Federal Register website

Birth Tourism Update

The U.S. Department of State is amending its B nonimmigrant visa regulation to address birth tourism such that U.S. consular officers overseas will deny any B visa application from an applicant whom the consular officer has “reason to believe is traveling for the primary purpose of giving birth in the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for their child.” Learn more here: Federal Register website

Public Charge Changes

Beginning Feb. 24, 2020, applicants and petitioners must report certain information related to public benefits.

“Instructions for Form I-944 require aliens subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility to report and submit information about whether the alien applied for, was certified or approved to receive, or received certain non-cash public benefits on or after Oct. 15, 2019. Instructions for Forms I-129, I-129CW, and I-539 require the petitioner or alien to report whether the alien received public benefits since obtaining the nonimmigrant status the alien seeks to extend or change.”

USCIS Response to Coronavirus

USCIS has issued the following information re: the recent coronavirus outbreak:

“USCIS is actively monitoring the effects of the public health emergency related to the 2019 coronavirus outbreak on agency operations. According to U.S. Department of State guidance, USCIS is temporarily closing its field offices in Beijing and Guangzhou. We will reschedule all affected appointments and will send new appointment notices to applicants.”

USCIS Update Public Charge

USCIS will implement the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule (“Final Rule”) on Feb. 24, 2020. To that end, form editions will be updated.

USCIS will post updated forms, submission instructions, and Policy Manual guidance on the USCIS website during the week of Feb. 3, 2020, to give applicants, petitioners, and others ample time to review updated procedures and adjust filing methods. After Feb. 24, 2020, everywhere except in the State of Illinois, USCIS will reject prior editions of forms if the form is postmarked on or after Feb. 24, 2020. If USCIS receives an application or petition for benefits using incorrect editions of the forms, USCIS will inform the applicant or petitioner of the need to submit a new application or petition using the correct forms.