Persons applying for a green card use Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, to show that he or she is not inadmissible based on the public charge ground. In other words, it is a way for the intending immigrant to demonstrate that he or she is not likely to become reliant on the government for financial support in the future.
The government uses a set of several factors to make a determination if an applicant is likely to become a public charge at any time in the future.
The public charge rule has long been a component of the grounds of inadmissibility. It is defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 212(a)(4). Under the Trump administration, the U.S. government has taken a stricter interpretation of the law resulting in a new public charge rule. An intending immigrant is inadmissible if he or she is more likely than not any time in the future to receive one or more public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period.
USCIS will weigh all the positive and negative factors in an applicant’s background. These factors include age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education, and skills.
RECOMMENDED: Public Charge Rule Explained
Who Must Submit Declaration of Self-Sufficiency (Form I-944)
Generally, you will need to demonstrate that you are not likely to become a public charge at any time in the future, under INA section 212(a)(4) if you are applying for a green card from within the United States.
Most applicants who file Form I-485 to adjust status to permanent resident (green card holder) must also submit Form I-944 as a part of the application package. This includes virtually all family-based and employment-based applications. Failure to submit a required I-944 will result in a denial of your I-485 application.
Totality of the Circumstances
Generally, the intending immigrant must have a sufficient Form I-944 in order to be approved for a green card. There isn’t a set of “minimum requirements.” Instead, USCIS weighs all factors (good and bad) to make a determination based on the “totality of the circumstances.”
RECOMMENDED: Totality of the Circumstances