Form DS-5540 requires you to make many declarations about your personal life and your finances. Making declarations is not enough, however -- you must prove your declarations with documentary evidence, and it is usually best to provide too much rather than too little. The following are some of the documents you are likely to need to file with Form DS-5540.
On Feb. 24, 2020, Form DS-5540, Public Charge Questionnaire, became a requirement for most people seeking US permanent residence visas from a US embassy or consulate abroad. The purpose of this form is to allow the examining officer to determine whether it is likely that you will become a “public charge” after you arrive in the United States.
The US has a long-standing policy that requires prospective immigrants to prove that they will not become a “public charge” in order to become lawful permanent residents. But what is considered a public charge? You are a public charge if you rely on public benefits. This rule applies both to people seeking visas from overseas through consular processing, and to people seeking adjustment of status through the Department of Homeland Security.
The “public charge” determination has long been a part of the legal immigration process -- immigrants have been required to prove that they will not become a public charge while in the United States. On Feb. 24, 2020, however, the Department of Homeland Security began enforcing the Final Rule, which adds significant obstacles to people seeking to adjust their status to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and even to obtain certain nonimmigrant benefits.
The Department of Homeland Security defines deportation as “the formal removal of an alien from the United States when the alien has been found removable for violating the immigration laws.”