COURT INJUNCTION PROVIDES REPRIVE FOR ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS APPLICANTS, BUT NEW POLICY STILL SET TO GO INTO EFFECT FOR VISA APPLICANTS

On October 11th and October 14th, several district court judges enjoined the Department of Homeland Security from implementing the new “Self-Sufficiency” procedures that would have required most adjustment of status (AOS) applicants to provide more detailed financial information, required health insurance, and made ineligible most applicants who had received public benefits. While these cases continue in the court process, USCIS will continue using the current policy to determine whether an applicant is likely to become a public charge (become dependent upon the U.S. government).

Higher courts could lift the injunction at any point, so anyone contemplating filing for AOS should do so as soon as possible to avoid these more rigid requirements that could be allowed in the future.

A new policy is set to go into effect on November 4th for immigrant visa applicants. This new policy will require that applicants for an immigrant visa show proof that he/she will be covered under a qualified (i.e. non-government subsidized) health insurance plan within 30 days of arrival in the United States. Otherwise, the applicant must prove the he/she has the financial resources to privately pay for “all reasonably anticipated medical treatment.”

This new policy is extremely vague and the Department of State has yet to issue any specific guidelines about how applicants are expected to meet these new standards. Anyone with an immigrant visa appointment on or after November 4, 2019 should consult with an immigration attorney prior to the scheduled interview to discuss options.

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