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The public charge regulation, scheduled to take effect Oct. 15, imposes changes to filing requirements for several forms, including the Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker that is filed on behalf of H-1B and other nonimmigrant workers. The rule also requires a new form for many adjustment of status applicants that significantly increases their documentation obligations. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website indicates that the agency will discontinue the current forms as of Oct. 15, to be replaced with new forms that have not yet been released. The government is currently subject to 10 separate lawsuits challenging the public charge rule, and it remains to be seen whether any of the suits will delay implementation.
BAL Analysis: For affected petitions that are currently being prepared, employers are encouraged to file by the Oct. 14 deadline. Employers should anticipate delays and lengthier processing times for affected forms after the public charge rule takes effect Oct. 15. They should also factor in additional preparation time to allow employees to collect information and documents concerning their finances and other factors pertaining to their past use of or potential reliance on public benefits. BAL is following the lawsuit filed by AILA, which, if successful, could result in USCIS providing a 60-day grace period during which USCIS would be required to accept the current versions of the forms. BAL is also monitoring other lawsuits challenging the public charge rule, and will report on developments.
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