Unfortunately, because the U.S. Supreme Court recently lifted the preliminary injunctions that had blocked the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule (the so-called “Wealth-Test”) from going into effect, both the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of State (DOS) implemented new forms and extensive documentation requirements for Adjustment of Status (AOS) and Consular Processing (CP) applications (the last step in the Green Card application process), effective February 24, 2020.
Additional Form and Documents for Adjustment of Status (AOS)
Beginning February 24, 2020, USCIS now requires a new form I-944 to be submitted with AOS applications for not only the primary applicant but also each dependent applying together. In other words, for each I-485 form submitted, an accompanying I-944 form, as well as the required documents, will have to be submitted.
This new form I-944 is 18 pages long, requiring extensive information regarding each applicant’s income, assets, liabilities, credit history, health insurance, as well as any previous, current or future use of public benefits. In addition, USCIS is requiring submission of documentation relating to all information submitted on I-944, including IRS Tax Transcripts (tax returns are no longer sufficient), home appraisals (if applicable), documents relating to any debt (i.e., mortgage, car loans, student loans, etc.), credit score reports, proof of health insurance, as well as other documentation depending on the cases.
Additional Form and Documents for Consular Processing (CP)
Beginning February 24, 2020, for those who are applying for consular processing (interview at a U.S. Embassy), DOS also requires a new form DS-5540 to be submitted with your DS-260 application. While not as extensive as the I-944 form, it asks for similar types of financial information, including income, assets, liabilities, health insurance, as well as any previous, current or future use of public benefits. DS-5540 explicitly requires an IRS Tax Transcript to be submitted with the DS-5540 form. The DS-5540 does not require any other documents relating to real estate value, debt, health insurance and public benefits; however, the Consulate reserves the right to request these documents if they are not satisfied with what is submitted at the time of interview. Therefore, we highly recommend going to the interview prepared with as much documentation as possible to avoid any delays in your CP process. The one positive element is that, unlike the I-944, only one (1) DS-5540 is required per family if all members are applying together.