On Jan. 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Department of Justice’s request to lift the nationwide temporary injunction against the Trump Administration’s public charge rule, while the litigation over the policy continues. The decision allows the public charge rule to take effect nationwide, except for in the state of Illinois, during the pendency of the underlying litigation on the merits of the public charge rule. Previously, a New York federal judge halted implementation of the public charge rule while the lawsuit remained pending, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. However, Monday’s decision by the Supreme Court overturned these lower court decisions, allowing the Trump Administration to move forward with the rule’s implementation while the lower courts continue to hear arguments on the merits.

As we previously reported, USCIS published the Final Rule, which made changes to the current ground of inadmissibility (ineligibility for green card) based on the public charge ground. Per USCIS, the new rule was expected to become effective Oct. 15, 2019.

Given Monday’s decision, it is anticipated that USCIS will issue notification to the public on the timeline to implement the public charge rule and require the use of the new versions of various immigration forms, including Form I-129, Form I-485, Form I-539, Form I-864 and EZ, Form I-944 and Form I-945. In addition, DOS may announce that the interim final rule will be implemented at the consulates. Greenberg Traurig will continue to report on updates related to the Public Charge Final Rule’s implementation.