The I-944 is USCIS’ new public charge form, part of implementing the Department of Homeland Security’s public charge rule that took effect on February 24, 2020. Among other changes that will make it harder for moderate- and low-income immigrants to pass a public charge test, the new public charge rule includes details for scrutinizing the statutory factors involved in evaluating public charge inadmissibility: age, health, household size, financial resources, and education and skills. The I-944 is designed to collect extensive information and evidence pertaining to these factors, as part of the new rule’s intense scrutiny of a person’s life circumstances to assess public charge. While a sufficient I-864 Affidavit of Support must still be submitted as required by statute, and is considered as part of the public charge analysis, the new rule places less emphasis on the affidavit of support and instead encourages officers to rely on the other factors, covered more comprehensively in the new Form I-944. Thus, the I-944 is now a critical piece of evidence in deciding whether an applicant for adjustment of status is inadmissible based on the public charge ground.
This practice advisory is the first of a two-part series on the new Form I-944. This advisory covers who needs to submit the I-944 and tips and strategies for completing the application form. It also discusses how the information reported on the I-944 will be used by immigration officials to assess public charge, based on the new public charge rule and guidance.
The companion practice advisory in this series, Guide to Gathering Supporting Evidence for the New USCIS Public Charge Form I-944, covers what documentation to submit in support of the I-944. These two advisories should be read together for a complete overview of the information and evidence required by the I-944.