New US green card rules: Family based sponsorship will require more financial details, periodic biometric submission on the anvil

MUMBAI: The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will issue its ‘final rule’ by December end, which will require US citizens and green card holders, who sponsor their families to provide more details of their financial status. This may include the requirement to provide credit reports, credit scores and detailed bank account information. Post issue of the final rule, over the next few months it could come into effect.
TOI had first reported on this, in its edition of April 11. The Fall-2020 agenda, which was rolled out by DHS last night, states that an affidavit of support is required for most family-based immigrants and some employment-based immigrants. A sponsor must show on the affidavit that he or she has enough income and assets to maintain the intending immigrant and the rest of the sponsor’s household at the statutorily required level.
If an immigrant sponsored in the affidavit receives means-tested public benefits during the period the affidavit is in effect, the benefit granting agency may request that the sponsor repay the cost of those benefits. That agency can also sue the sponsor for failure to repay the benefits.
DHS intends to update the provisions to allow public benefit granting agencies to more easily obtain information in order to seek reimbursement from a sponsor when the sponsored immigrant has received means-tested public benefits. This could be one of the reasons for the additional requirements that may be introduced.
Proposals relating to the collection of biometrics were also contained in the Fall-2020 agenda. A final rule is likely to be published by the end of December. It would require foreign nationals (including those on work visas such as H-1B and their dependants) to periodically submit biometrics which would include palm prints, iris images, voice recognition and in certain cases DNA. TOI had covered this earlier.
Lastly, a final rule by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to modify the period of authorised stay for certain F-1 visa holders (international students) from a duration of status to a specified end date, is also scheduled for publication in December.

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