Here are the Answers to Your Questions on Self-Sufficiency Returns
After a brief hiatus, Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency Returns is again required when submitting Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Since February 24, 2020, the USCIS has required Form I-944 on all new submissions of Form I-485. On July 29, 2020, a Federal District Court in New York enjoined (stopped) the USCIS from requiring Form I-944, and the USCIS temporarily halted the requirement to submit Form I-944 until September 11, 2020, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, lifted the injunction and allowed USCIS to require Form I-944 again.
All of these various court rulings and announcements by the USCIS have led to a great deal of confusion as to whether a Form I-944 is required with a given I-485. For example if I filed my I-485 after June 29, but before September 11, am I exempted from filing? What if I filed after September 11, and I did not include Form I-944, does this mean my case will be denied? With the FAQ below, we hope to clear up many of the questions we have been receiving at the firm.
Do I need to submit I-944 if I’m filing my I-485 now?
Most likely, yes. A Form I-944 is required for all new I-485 filings with certain limited exceptions.
What if I filed between June 29, 2020 and September 11, 2020. When the court had stopped the USCIS from requiring form I-944? Am I exempted?
Unfortunately, no. For cases that were submitted during the injunction time period. The USCIS will issue a request for evidence requesting submission of the form.
I submitted my case after September 11, 2020. But I did not know that the courts had required Form I-944 again. Does this mean my case will be rejected or denied?
No, your case is still safe. For any cases received before October 13, 2020, without a Form I-944, the Service or issue a request for evidence requesting submission of the form.
If I have already submitted my case. Is there anything I can do proactively to submit the I-944 at this time?
We are advising our clients to wait until they receive the request for evidence for Form I-944. It is unclear how long it will take for USCIS to issue these requests for evidence but it would likely be at least several months given the backlogs USCIS is working through at the moment.
Ok, if I receive a request for evidence, how long do I have to respond?
Typically, you have 87 days to respond to a request for evidence. In our experience this should be sufficient time to gather the necessary documents and prepare the form.
What happens if I submit my I-485 without Form I-944 after on or after October 13, 2020?
Your I-485 case will be rejected.