Amongst all of the changes surrounding the new Final “Public Charge” Rule, implementation of a severe immigration tool has been created: an $8100 Public Charge Bond. This article will be aimed to answer the following basic questions:
- What is a Public Charge Bond?
- How much does a Public Charge Bond Cost? and
- When is a Public Charge Bond going to apply to me?
Who has to pay a public charge bond?
The Immigrant would be required to pay for the bond, or face denial and possibly deportation (if in the United States). However, since many Immigrants are the beneficiary of spousal and parent-child filings, the US Citizen or LPR Petitioner will be saddled with this payment. After all, the Petitioner is usually the only one working legally in the US.
Although the Bond is called a “public charge bond,” it will mainly target and apply to filings that are close to the 125% I-864P Poverty Level Guideline. Additionally, it may generally occur where a Petitioner does not have a stable or consistent income from employment. DHS and USCIS have full discretion on whether to waive or demand the Immigration Bond. Only future practice will tell how common this “new tool” will become.
Here is a Blog Post on the I-864: Affidavit of Support: https://www.fickeymartinezlaw.com/immigration/the-i-864-explained-affidavit-of-support/
How much will the immigration bond be?
The Public Charge Bond will be at least $8,100, and the filing form, I-945, is set to have a filing fee of $25. The USCIS Officer has the authority to decide what time of Bond is required.
A “Surety Bond” would permit a company to pay the full amount with only a percentage payment paid by the Immigrant. For Example, a Surety Bond Company may require 15% payment of the $8100, along with collateral. If everything goes great and the bond is able to be returned to the company after a few years, then the Petitioner and Immigrant would only have had to pay $8100 % 15 percent = $1215.
A “Cash Bond” or “Cashier Check Requirement” or “Cash/Cash Equivalent Bond” would mean you may have to pay the full $8100 immediately to USCIS.
How do you pay the public charge bond?
Form I-945 will be a companion form to Forms I-944 and I-864. Form I-945, Public Charge Bond, will have a $25 filing fee. Once the I-945 Instructions are released, it is highly recommended to follow the instructions of the USCIS Officer and of the form exactly. It would also be a good idea to speak with an Immigration Attorney since failure at this juncture could lead to Deportation.
When do you get the bond back?
The Bond may not automatically be returned. To request to cancel the Public Charge Bond, Form I-356 would be required with a filing fee of $25. However, in order for the funds to be returned, you will likely have to prove one of the following:
- Immigrant became a US Citizen
- Immigrant has had the Green Card for 5 years
- Immigrant has permanently left the US, abandoning the Green Card, and filed Form I-407 to formally abandon the Green Card
- Immigrant received a status that does not subject them to Public Charge Bond
- Immigrant Died
In addition to the above situations, it would also be required to prove the Immigrant NEVER became a “Public Charge,” which would consume the “public charge bond.”
At the moment, an Adjustment of Status costs around $1760. With this new change, an $8100 Bond + $25 filing fee makes the filing cost possibly around $9885. When money and time are at stake, it might be beneficial to seek the assistance of an Immigration Attorney. Please consider scheduling a consultation with our Immigration Law Firm.
Our Blog Post on the Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency:
A Little About Our Office
Fickey Martinez Law Firm, P.L.L.C. is an Immigration Law Firm located in Eastern North Carolina. We have four office locations. We offer services in many areas of immigration law, such as military immigration (which can apply to a service member’s family), green card filings, and naturalization. If you would like to speak with an immigration attorney, please contact our office to set up a consultation.
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