Starting today, December 23, 2022, any Adjustment of Status applications filed with the USCIS must use the new version of Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (12/23/22 edition). The new version of Form I-485 is available here. Specifically:
- USCIS will reject the 07/15/22 edition of Form I-485 if it is postmarked on or after Dec. 23, 2022.
- USCIS will reject the 12/23/22 edition of Form I-485 if it is postmarked on or before December 22, 2022.
Importantly, the Form I-485 now contains a Public Charge section and a number of questions related to whether an applicant may become a Public Charge under the standards defined in the September 28, 2022, Public Charge rule, which also became effective today. Under this new rule, an Adjustment of Status applicant is considered a Public Charge if he or she is “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or long-term institutionalization at government expense.” Becoming a Public Charge is a ground of inadmissibility and an Adjustment of Status applicant who is determined to be a Public Charge by the USCIS will have his or her application denied. The new Form I-485 also requests applicants to provide certain information previously included in the now discontinued Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, previously released by the USCIS during the Trump administration.
It should be noted that a person who has become temporarily unemployed and is receiving the benefits of an unemployment insurance policy will not be considered a Public Charge under this standard.
It is likely, as T&S reported in a previous Alert, that further modifications will be made to Form I-485 in 2023. We will monitor this situation closely and will provide analyses of these modifications as they occur.