Why is August and September of 2020 critical for applying for an adjustment of status in the United States?

1)     No enforcement of New Public Charge rule and lower attorney’s fees

2)     Significant increase in Government filing fees on Oct 2nd,2020

3)     Furlough of USCIS employees on Aug 31st, 2020

 

A public charge rule came into effect on Feb 24, 2020, which made it almost impossible for anyone to get a green card even if they were married to a U.S. citizen or were the parent or child of a U.S. citizen. As per the USCIS website, on July 29, 2020,  the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) enjoined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing, applying, implementing, or treating as effective the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule for any period during which there is a declared national health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In other words, there is a short window in which you can submit an application without the dreaded I-944 form and the supporting documents. Basically, the public charge rule will not be enforced in the post-Feb 24,2020 format until the end of the pandemic. This also means lower attorney’s fees

 

Another reason for the short window is that there is a significant Government fee increase which will go into place on Oct 2, 2020. For applying for a Green card based on marriage with a work permit and travel permit, the fees will increase from $1760 to $2860 on Oct 2, 2020.

 

The third reason is that USCIS is planning to furlough it’s employees at the end of August 2020 by up to 75%. This would mean a substantial increase in time for the processing of the applications. If you can submit your application before the furlough happens, there is at least a chance that your application will be processed within normal processing times.

 

The links below provide more information about these changes.

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/public-charge/injunction-of-the-inadmissibility-on-public-charge-grounds-final-rule

https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-adjusts-fees-to-help-meet-operational-needs