Chapter 4 - Fee Waivers

Currently, USCIS may waive the fee for certain immigration benefit requests when the individual requesting the benefit is unable to pay the fee.[1] Applicants, petitioners, and requestors who pay a fee cover the cost of processing requests that are fee-exempt, fee-waived, or fee-reduced.

A. General

1. Eligibility

A benefit requestor may request a fee waiver from USCIS if:

  • The benefit requestor is unable to pay the requisite fee, and

  • The form is eligible for a fee waiver.

There is no fee required for filing a fee waiver request.

If a benefit request includes both the appropriate filing fee and a fee waiver request, USCIS does not adjudicate the fee waiver request since the person will not be able to establish an inability to pay. In such a case, USCIS deposits the fee and processes the immigration benefit request, if it is otherwise acceptable.

2. Inability to Pay Criteria and Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is on the requestor to establish an inability to pay under USCIS policy. USCIS reviews two criteria to determine an applicant's inability to pay:

For USCIS to find an inability to pay, the officer must reasonably determine that the applicant or petitioner is unlikely to pay the fee based on the evidence.

3. Filing of Fee Waiver Request

To request a fee waiver, a benefit requestor must submit a:

  • Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912); and

  • Documentation establishing eligibility based on an inability to pay through one of the two criteria.

The HHS Poverty Guidelines for Fee Waiver Request (Form I-912P) provide the income thresholds per year.

The person requesting the fee waiver must sign the request. A parent or legal guardian may sign for children under 14 years old or for an incapacitated adult for whom he or she is the legal guardian. The person submitting the benefit request on behalf of a child or incapacitated adult must provide evidence of the claimed relationship and authority to sign.

Failure to Meet Other Filing Requirements

USCIS does not review fee waiver requests submitted for benefit requests rejected for reasons unrelated to the fee. For example, USCIS does not review fee waiver requests in cases involving an immigration benefit application that is defective due to a missing signature.

B. Forms Eligible for Fee Waivers

A benefit requestor may only submit a request for a fee waiver for certain forms.[2] There are three general categories of fee waivers allowed for forms:

  • General waivers;

  • Conditional waivers; and

  • Humanitarian waivers.

1. General Waivers

The following table provides a list of forms for which USCIS may waive the fees based on a requestor’s inability to pay.

General Fee Waivers
Biometrics services fee (except for the biometric services fee required for an Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (Form I-601A) filed under 8 CFR 212.7(e))
Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90)
Application for Relief Under Former Section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (Form I-191)[3]
Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (Form I-751)
Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) (unless filing under category (c)(33), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
Application for Family Unity Benefits (Form I-817)
Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821)[4]
Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal (Form I-881)[5]
Application to File Declaration of Intention (Form N-300)
Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Form N-336)[6]
Application for Naturalization (Form N-400)
Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes (Form N-470)
Application for Replacement of Naturalization/Citizenship Document (Form N-565)
Application for Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600)
Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322 (Form N-600K)

2. Conditional Waivers

Certain fee waivers depend on specific conditions. The following tables provide a list of forms for which USCIS may waive fees based on the requestor’s inability to pay and meet the specified conditions.

Conditional Fee Waivers
Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) for an applicant for E-2 CNMI investor nonimmigrant status under 8 CFR 214.2(e)(23)
Application for Travel Document (Form I-131) for those applying for humanitarian parole
Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant (Form I-192) for an applicant who is exempt from the public charge grounds of inadmissibility[7]
Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa (Form I-193) for an applicant who is exempt from the public charge grounds of inadmissibility[8]
Notice of Appeal or Motion (Form I-290B) if the underlying benefit request was fee exempt, the fee was waived, or it was eligible for a fee waiver
Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) for an applicant who is exempt from the public charge grounds of inadmissibility[9]
Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539) for an applicant with any benefit request as specified by INA 245(l)(7) or an applicant for E-2 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) investor nonimmigrant status under 8 CFR 214.2(e)(23)
Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601) for an applicant who is exempt from the public charge grounds of inadmissibility[10]
Notice of Appeal of Decision Under Sections 245A or 210 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Form I-694) if the underlying application or petition was fee exempt, the filing fee was waived, or was eligible for a fee waiver

As noted in the table above, USCIS may waive fees for a Form I-485 applicant who is exempt from the public charge grounds of inadmissibility.[11] The table below provides a general list of adjustment of status applicants who are exempt from public charge and therefore may qualify for a fee waiver.

Form I-485 Conditional Fee Waivers – Exemption from Public Charge
Asylees[12]
Special immigrant juveniles
Applications under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)[13]
Applications under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA)[14]
Applications under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)[15] or similar provisions
Lautenberg Parolees

3. Humanitarian Fee Waivers

USCIS may also waive fees for any benefit request or associated form, including the adjustment of status application, for humanitarian purposes as authorized by statute. This includes petitions not otherwise eligible for a fee waiver or eligible only for conditional fee waivers.[16] Some of these categories are also exempt from the public charge inadmissibility determination and therefore would also be eligible for a fee waiver on that basis.[17]

The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA)[18] requires DHS to permit certain benefit requestors to apply for fee waivers for “any fees associated with filing an application for relief through final adjudication of the adjustment of status.”[19] DHS interprets this provision[20] to mean that, in addition to the primary benefit request, an applicant who files any form that may be filed with the primary benefit request or the adjustment of status application must be provided the opportunity to request a fee waiver.[21] The table below lists, by immigration category, the primary benefit requests and associated form(s) for which DHS must provide an opportunity to request a fee waiver.[22]

Humanitarian Fee Waiver Categories: Forms Eligible for Fee Waiver

Category

Primary Benefit Request

Associated USCIS Forms

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)[23] self-petitioners[24]

  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485)

  • Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (Form I-751)

  • Application for Travel Document (Form I-131)[25]

  • Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (Form I-212)

  • Notice of Appeal or Motion (Form I-290B)

  • Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601)

  • Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765)

Victims of severe form of trafficking (T nonimmigrant status)[26]

  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485)[27]
  • Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant (Form I-192)

  • Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa (Form I-193)

  • Application for Travel Document (Form I-131)

  • Notice of Appeal or Motion (Form I-290B)

  • Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539)

  • Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601)

  • Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765)

Victims of criminal activity (U nonimmigrant status)[28]

  • Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U Nonimmigrant (Form I-929)

  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485)

  • Application for Travel Document (Form I-131)

  • Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant (Form I-192)

  • Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa (Form I-193)

  • Notice of Appeal or Motion (Form I-290B)

  • Application to Change/Extend Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539)

  • Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765)

Battered spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen[29]

  • Application for Cancellation of Removal and Adjustment of Status for Certain Nonpermanent Residents (EOIR-42B (PDF)) (DOJ form and immigration judge determines fee waiver)
  • Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601)

Temporary Protected Status[30]

  • Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821)
  • Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765)

  • Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601)

  • Application for Travel Document (Form I-131)

Applications related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) filings,[31] including a stand-alone Form I-765 filed, are not eligible for a fee waiver.

4. Third-Party Fee Waiver Request

An immigration judge may grant fee waiver requests in an immigration court proceeding.[32] In addition, an immigration judge may request USCIS to consider a fee waiver request. The requestor must submit a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912) and evidence of eligibility under one of the two criteria. 

C. Income At or Below 150 Percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines

The applicant must clearly demonstrate an inability to pay the fees in order to qualify for a fee waiver.[33] Inability to pay the fee is based on the applicant’s household income.

The applicant must demonstrate that his or her total household income at the time of filing is at or below 150 percent of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) based on household size. USCIS does not review the person's past or future income or financial situation when determining household income. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) establishes the FPG annually.[34]

1. Household

For fee waiver review purposes, a household[35] may include:

  • The applicant;

  • The head of household (if not the applicant);

  • The applicant’s spouse, if living with the applicant (if the applicant and spouse are separated or not living together, then the spouse is not included as part of the household);[36] or

  • Any family members living in the applicant’s household who are dependent on the applicant’s income, the spouse’s income, or the head of household’s income.

Family members living in the applicant’s household include the:

  • Applicant’s children or legal wards who are unmarried and under 21 years of age;
  • Applicant’s children or legal wards who are unmarried, are over 21 years of age but under 24 years of age, and are full-time students;
  • Applicant’s children or legal wards who are unmarried and for whom the applicant is the legal guardian because the child or legal ward is physically or developmentally disabled, or mentally impaired to the extent that the child or legal ward cannot adequately care for him or herself, and cannot establish, maintain, or re-establish his or her own household;
  • Applicant’s parents; and
  • Any other dependents listed on the applicant’s federal income tax return, or the spouse’s or head of household’s federal income tax return.[37]

Head of Household

In general, the head of the household is the person who files the most recent federal tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the household, or the person who earns the majority of the income for the household. Persons applying under the special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) classification are considered part of their own household without including any foster or group home household members.

People who are cohabitating with the applicant, but not financially supported by the applicant, such as roommates or nannies, are not included in the household for the purpose of a fee waiver request.

2. Documentation

To demonstrate the household income, the applicant must provide:

  • A copy of each household member’s most recent federal tax return transcript; or if a tax transcript is not available a recent Form W-2 and a Form SSA-1099 (if applicable); and

  • Documentation of additional financial assistance.

If the applicant's income has changed since the tax return filing, because of unemployment, the applicant must provide evidence of unemployment such as a termination letter or unemployment insurance receipt. If the applicant’s income has changed since the tax return filing due to a change in employment, the applicant must provide information on the current employment and income, such as recent pay statements or W-2 forms.

If the applicant resides and filed tax returns in a U.S. territory, he or she must submit the tax return transcript from the territory instead of a federal tax return transcript if no federal tax return was required.

Tax Returns

If the request is filed between January 1 and April 15, and the person has not yet filed the previous year's return, the requestor must submit the tax returns transcript for the most recently filed year.[38] The person is not required to have the IRS certify the transcript. 

USCIS uses the adjusted gross income (AGI) from IRS Form 1040 to calculate annual income. If the person is submitting a W-2 or pay statements, USCIS uses the gross pay (pay before taxes and any other withholdings), including any overtime and irregular hours as listed to calculate the annual income.

In determining total household income, USCIS adds any Social Security income (as reflected on the SSA-1099) to the AGI in the tax return.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) statements, Miscellaneous Income (Form 1099-MISC), and Certain Government Payments (Form 1099-G) are not acceptable as proof of income without the tax return transcripts, W-2s, or Social Security statements.

The applicant may provide additional documentation to establish marital status and household size. If the person’s current situation is different from the documentation provided, he or she must provide an explanation regarding the inconsistency in the documentation. For example, a tax return transcript that indicates the person is married but the person is currently separated or states in the fee waiver request that he or she is single, must provide an additional explanation for the inconsistency and the documentation for income.

An applicant may use IRS Form 4506-T (PDF) to request income tax transcripts, a copy of Form W-2, or Form 1099-G, from the IRS or to establish that no IRS transcript is available.

If the applicant has provided tax returns as part of another immigration application or petition, such as an affidavit of support, the applicant does not need to submit additional tax return transcripts. USCIS will review the affidavit of support for any inconsistencies with the fee waiver request.

VAWA, T, and U-Based Applicants

Applicants seeking a fee waiver for any immigration benefits (such as for adjustment of status) based on VAWA or T or U nonimmigrant status do not need to provide the income of any household member, including a spouse, who is or was their abuser or human trafficker. Persons listed as a dependent on an income tax return and applying for any immigration benefits based on a pending or approved petition or application for VAWA benefits or T or U nonimmigrant status also do not need to provide the income of any household member, including a spouse, if that member is or was their abuser or human trafficker. 

USCIS considers whether a person is unable to obtain proof of income (or proof of household members’ income) due to victimization such as trafficking or abuse. The person must describe the situation in sufficient detail on the form to substantiate his or her inability to pay, as well as his or her inability to obtain the required documentation. In addition, the person must provide any available documentation of his or her income, such as pay stubs or affidavits from religious institutions, non-profits, or other community-based organizations, verifying that he or she is currently receiving some benefit or support from that entity and attesting to his or her financial situation.

Special Immigrant Juveniles

An SIJ who files a fee waiver request[39] for any form is not required to provide proof of income. However, the fee waiver request must include one of the following forms of evidence:

  • A final state or juvenile court order establishing dependency or custodial placement of the SIJ;

  • A letter from a foster care home or similar agency overseeing the SIJ's custodial placement that describes the SIJ's inability to pay; or

  • An approval notice on a Notice of Action (Form I-797) for a Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360), filed for the SIJ.

SIJs are considered part of their own household, without including any foster or group home household members.

An officer may verify in the available systems whether the requestor has applied for, or received, SIJ classification.

Children in Foster Care

A child in foster care[40] must submit a valid fee waiver request using Form I-912. As evidence of lack of income, USCIS may accept a letter from a foster care home or similar agency overseeing the foster child’s custodial placement that describes the child's inability to pay. The income of a child in foster care does not include any income from foster or group home household members.

3. Additional Financial Assistance

The table below includes the types of financial assistance that are included as part of the total household income and must be included as income in the fee waiver request. The applicant must also provide documentation of each type of additional financial assistance.

Additional Financial Assistance

Parental support

Alimony

Child support

Educational stipends

Pensions

Social Security

Royalties

Veteran’s benefits

Unemployment benefits

Consistent or regular financial support from adult children, parents, dependents, or other people living in the applicant’s household

A court order of any child support or documentation from an agency providing other income or financial assistance

 

D. Financial Hardship

The alien may demonstrate that he or she is under financial hardship due to extraordinary expenses or other circumstances affecting his or her financial situation to the degree that he or she is unable to pay the fee. If the applicant is under financial hardship, the applicant should demonstrate that he or she has suffered a substantial negative financial impact as a result of this hardship in a reasonably recent period preceding the filing of the fee waiver request so as to render the applicant’s income during that period insufficient to pay the fee. For example, an alien may face financial hardship due to medical expenses of family members, unemployment, eviction, victimization, and homelessness.

Documentation

The applicant may submit documentation as follows to demonstrate that he or she is under financial hardship that renders him or her unable to pay the fee:

  • Documentation of income;

  • Documentation of all assets owned, possessed, or controlled by the applicant and dependents; and

  • Documentation concerning liabilities and expenses owed by the alien and dependents, and any other expenses for which the alien is responsible.

The table below provides a list of assets and liabilities that may be part of the fee waiver request.

Examples of Documentation of Financial Hardship

Assets

Liabilities

  • Real estate property;

  • Cash;

  • Checking and savings accounts; and

  • Stocks, bonds, and annuities (except for pension plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)).

 

  • Rent or mortgage;

  • Average monthly cost of food;

  • Utilities;

  • Child care and elder care;

  • Insurance;

  • Loans and credit cards;

  • Car payment;

  • Commuting costs;

  • Medical expenses; and

  • School expenses.

 

If the applicant cannot provide evidence of income, he or she should provide information and documentation as provided below.

1. Applicants Without Income

If the applicant has no income due to unemployment, homelessness, or other factors, he or she must provide:

  • A detailed description of his or her financial situation that demonstrates eligibility for the fee waiver;

  • Request for Transcript of Tax Return (IRS Form 4506-T) or Wage and Tax Statement (IRS Form W-2) or a statement that no tax returns or W-2s are available from the IRS; 

  • If the person is receiving support services, an affidavit from a religious institution, non-profit, or community-based organization verifying the person is currently receiving some benefit or support from that entity and attesting to the applicant’s financial situation; and

  • Evidence of unemployment, such as a termination letter or unemployment insurance receipt.

VAWA, T, and U-Based Applicants

USCIS considers whether an applicant is unable to obtain proof of income due to alleged victimization such as trafficking or abuse. The applicant must describe the situation in sufficient detail on the form to substantiate his or her inability to pay, as well as his or her inability to obtain the required documentation.

In addition, the applicant must provide any available documentation of his or her income, such as a W-2, pay stubs, or affidavits from religious institutions, non-profits, or other community-based organizations, verifying that he or she is currently receiving some benefit or support from that entity and attesting to his or her financial situation.

2. Special Situations

Sometimes natural disasters and other extreme situations can occur that are beyond an applicant's control and may affect a person's ability to pay the fees. USCIS may designate certain time periods or events in which a person may file a fee waiver request for certain petitions and applications based on an inability to pay through the financial hardship eligibility criteria.[41] The applicant must still establish an inability to pay and file the request for the fee waiver. 

E. Adjudication

Each fee waiver request is unique and is considered on its own merits. USCIS may grant a fee waiver request when USCIS determines that the applicant is unable to pay the fee based on established eligibility under one of the two criteria. USCIS adjudicates the fee waiver request based upon the request itself and any additional documentation submitted in support of the fee waiver request at the time of filing and does not issue any Requests for Evidence (RFE).

When adjudicating a fee waiver request, an officer reviews the application and:

  • Validates the household size;

  • Identifies all valid sources of income applicable to the household;

  • Reviews the total annual income of the household;

  • Determines the level at which the applicant may qualify based on the household size;[42] and

  • Verifies that the applicant submitted the proper documentation and established eligibility.

1. Approval

USCIS may approve the fee waiver request only if the applicant establishes that the household income is at or below 150 percent of the FPG at the time of filing or has established financial hardship.

2. Rejection

If USCIS determines that the applicant did not substantiate an inability to pay based on at least one of the two criteria, then USCIS rejects the fee waiver request. The rejection notice must provide the requestor detailed reasons for the rejection. The table below provides a list of reasons for rejection and considerations involved.

Fee Waiver Rejection Criteria

Rejection Criteria

Consideration

Lack of proper filing

  • Applicant did not submit a Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912)

Income is above 150 percent of the FPG and applicant has not provided sufficient evidence of financial hardship

  • Income listed on the form or in the documentation is above the 150 percent FPG threshold
  • Applicant has not met the burden of proving financial hardship due to the lack of documentation

Unable to determine household income

  • Identification of household members[43] on the form and no statements or documentation of the household member’s income
  • Identification of a spouse[44] on the form, but no statements of income or additional support or documentation of such income or additional support
  • If the requestor’s filing status in the tax return (for example, married filing jointly, single, head of household) is inconsistent with the marital status declared on the fee waiver request, the immigration benefit forms, or support documents, and the requestor does not provide an explanation or evidence regarding the inconsistency
  • If the requestor has indicated on the tax form that he or she may be claimed by another person, but the income information for the tax filer is not provided

Lack of income documentation[45]

  • Lack of documentation of income and additional income or financial support for the applicant and each household member identified in the fee waiver request or of the person providing additional income, as appropriate
  • Lack of tax return transcripts or W-2s
  • Providing pay stubs without a statement from the IRS indicating that no transcripts or W-2s are available
  • Providing a statement from a religious institution, non-profit, or other community-based organization indicating the person does not have income and the entity is providing services, but does not provide a statement from the IRS indicating that no tax transcripts or W-2s are available

Unable to determine financial hardship

  • Insufficient information of the applicant's reason for requesting a financial hardship waiver for the fees
  • Lack of documentation of household income
  • Lack of documentation of assets and liabilities

There is no appeal of a rejection of a fee waiver request. An applicant may refile the benefit request with the proper fees for USCIS to process the request. The applicant may also file another fee waiver request with the required documentation to establish eligibility based on one of the two criteria. 

Footnotes


1. [^] See 8 CFR 103.7(c)

2. [^] See 8 CFR 103.7(c).

3. [^] Also known as the Application for Advance Permission to Return to Unrelinquished Domicile.

4. [^] See INA 244(a)(3).

5. [^] See Section 203 of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), Title II of Pub. L. 105-100 (PDF), 111 Stat. 2160, 2196 (November 19, 1997).

6. [^] See INA 336.

7. [^] See INA 212(a)(4).

8. [^] See INA 212(a)(4).

9. [^] See INA 212(a)(4)

10. [^] See INA 212(a)(4).

11. [^] See INA 212(a)(4).

12. [^] See INA 209(b). Refugees seeking adjustment under INA 209(a) are automatically exempt from paying the Form I-485 filing fee and biometric services fee, and are not required to demonstrate an inability to pay.

13. [^] See Pub. L. 89-732 (PDF) (November 2, 1966).

14. [^] See Title IX of Pub. L. 105-277 (PDF) (October 21, 1998).

15. [^] See Title II of Pub. L. 105-100 (PDF) (November 19, 1997).

16. [^] For example, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (Form I-212), Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485), Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539), and Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601).

17. [^] See Section 201(d)(3) of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA 2008), Pub. L. 110-457 (PDF), 122 Stat. 5044, 5054 (December 23, 2008) (adding INA 245(l)(7)).

18. [^] See Section 201(d)(3) of TVPRA 2008, Pub. L. 110-457 (PDF), 122 Stat. 5044, 5054 (December 23, 2008) (adding INA 245(l)(7)).

19. [^] See Section 201(d)(3) of TVPRA 2008, Pub. L. 110-457 (PDF), 122 Stat. 5044, 5054 (December 23, 2008) (adding INA 245(l)(7)).

20. [^] See Section 201(d)(3) of TVPRA 2008, Pub. L. 110-457 (PDF), 122 Stat. 5044, 5054 (December 23, 2008) (adding INA 245(l)(7)).

21. [^] Certain USCIS forms are not listed in 8 CFR 103.7(b) and therefore have no fee.

22. [^] For example, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (Form I-212), Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485), Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539), and Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601).

23. [^] VAWA self-petitioner as defined under INA 101(a)(51) includes abused spouses and children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents; abused parents of U.S. citizens; abused spouses and children filing a waiver of the joint filing requirement under INA 216(c)(4)(C); abused children or spouses under CAA; and abused family members under HRIFA and NACARA.

24. [^] See INA 101(a)(51). See INA 245(l)(7). See TVPRA 2008, Pub. L. 110–457 (PDF), 122 Stat. 5044 (December 23, 2008); 22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq. For requestors in this category, there is no fee for filing a Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360) and no fee for filing an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). Form I-360 allows a principal self-petitioner to request an employment authorization document (EAD) incident to case approval without submitting a separate Form I-765. Form I-765 is required for employment authorization requests by derivative beneficiaries and employment authorization requests on a different basis. There is no fee for VAWA self-petitioners using Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360). For battered spouses of A, G, E-3, or H nonimmigrants under INA 106, there is no fee for filing an Application for Employment Authorization for Abused Nonimmigrant Spouse (Form I-765V).

25. [^] Currently, fees for Form I-131 are exempt if filed in conjunction with a pending or concurrently filed Form I-485 with fee that was filed on or after July 30, 2007. See 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1)(i)(M)(4).

26. [^] See INA 101(a)(15)(T) (T nonimmigrant status for victims of severe form of trafficking). For this category, there is no fee for filing Application for T Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-914) or for filing Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). Form I-914 allows a principal applicant to request an EAD incident to case approval without submitting a separate Form I-765. Form I-765 is required for employment authorization requests by derivative relatives.

27. [^] There is no fee for filing the following forms: Application for T Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-914), Application for Family Member of T-1 Recipient (Form I-914, Supplement A), and Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victims of Trafficking in Persons (Form I-914, Supplement B).

28. [^] See INA 101(a)(15)(U) (U nonimmigrant status for victims of criminal activity). For this category, there is no fee for filing Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-918), Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient (Form I-918, Supplement A), or Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). Form I-918 allows a principal petitioner to request an EAD incident to case approval without submitting a separate Form I-765. Form I-765 is required for employment authorization requests for principal petitioners who seek an EAD after waiting list placement, as well as by qualifying family members. 

29. [^] See INA 240A(b)(2). See INA 245(l)(7).

30. [^] See INA 244. See INA 245(l)(7).

31. [^] Including Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Form I-821D).

32. [^] See 8 CFR 1103.7.

33. [^] See 8 CFR 103.7(c).

34. [^] See HHS Poverty Guidelines for Fee Waiver Request (Form I-912P).

35. ^] If the requestor submits any joint-filed federal tax returns, USCIS reviews the household size to determine household members or spouses.

36. [^] However, any additional income or financial support provided by the spouses must be included in the request. See Subsection 3, Additional Financial Assistance [1 USCIS-PM B.4(C)(3)].

37. [^] USCIS reviews the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) federal income tax return transcripts to examine whether any dependents are listed.

38. [^] For information on obtaining federal income tax transcripts without a fee, see irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript

39. [^] An SIJ may request a fee waiver for an adjustment of status application, and associated Forms I-601, Form I-765, or Form I-290B for Form I-360, or other associated forms.

40. [^] Foster care (also known as out-of-home care) is a temporary service provided by States for children who cannot live with their families. Children in foster care may live with relatives or with unrelated foster parents. Foster care can also refer to placement settings such as group homes, residential care facilities, emergency shelters, and supervised independent living. See 45 CFR 1355.20. See childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/foster-care.

41. [^] See Special Situations web page. For example, USCIS allowed for consideration of fee waivers for those affected by South Carolina floods in 2015.

42. [^] Review the HHS Poverty Guidelines for Fee Waiver Request (Form I-912P).

43. [^] Applicants for any immigration benefits based on VAWA or T or U nonimmigrant status do not need to provide the income of any household member who is or was their abuser or human trafficker. Fee waiver requests that detail these grounds of victimization should not be rejected if the applicant has described that a member of his or her household is or was his or her abuser or trafficker in sufficient detail. For more information, see Section C, Income At or Below 150 Percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines, Subsection 2, Documentation [1 USCIS-PM B.4(C)(2)].

44. [^] Applicants for any immigration benefits (such as for adjustment of status) based on VAWA or T or U nonimmigrant status do not need to provide their spouse’s income.

45. [^] Generally, applicants for any immigration benefits (such as for adjustment of status) based on VAWA or T or U nonimmigrant status are not rejected for a lack of documentation if the applicant has described his or her inability to provide the required documentation in sufficient detail and provided any other available documentation. 

8 CFR 103.2 - Submission and adjudication of benefit requests

8 CFR 103.7(c) – Waiver of fees

INA 103, 8 CFR 103 - Powers and duties of the Secretary, the Under Secretary, and the Attorney General

Appendices


No appendices available at this time.

Technical Update - Implementation of Fees for Submission of Benefit Requests

December 02, 2019

This technical update incorporates into Volume 1 the policy guidance that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced October 25, 2019, regarding submission and acceptance of fees for immigration benefit requests. This guidance became effective December 2, 2019.

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POLICY ALERT - Fees for Submission of Benefit Requests

October 25, 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding submission and acceptance of fees for immigration benefit requests. This guidance becomes effective December 2, 2019.

AFFECTED SECTIONS

 

Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

October 08, 2019

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].

AFFECTED SECTIONS

 
Current as of

CHAPTERS

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