U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is funded largely by application and petition fees. Recognizing that some applicants cannot pay the filing fees, USCIS established a fee waiver process for certain forms and benefit types. Demonstrated inability to pay is the only reason USCIS will approve a fee waiver.
Waiving a fee for one applicant transfers the cost of processing their application to other applicants through higher fees. Therefore, USCIS carefully considers the merits of each fee waiver request before making a decision.
File your fee waiver request with the form for which you are requesting the fee waiver. Do not send a fee waiver request by itself.
Note: You cannot use our e-Filing system to file a form for which you are requesting a fee waiver. Please file a paper application.
How does USCIS make a decision on a fee waiver request? To be eligible for a fee waiver, one of the following must be met:
You or qualified members of your household are currently receiving a means-tested benefit. A means-tested benefit is one for which the individuals’ income/resources determine eligibility and/or the benefit amount.