Questions and Answers: Requesting Waiver of Fees Temporary Protected Status Applicants
Financially disadvantaged individuals may request a fee waiver for certain immigration benefits and services based on an inability to pay. USCIS developed the Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, in an effort to facilitate the fee waiver request process. USCIS will continue to consider applicant-generated fee waiver requests (i.e., those not submitted on Form I-912) that comply with 8 CFR 103.7(c). Form I-912 instructions give information on the methodology that USCIS uses to make a decision on a fee waiver request, whether the request is submitted on Form I-912 or via an applicant-generated written statement requesting a fee waiver. The instructions provide applicants with guidance on properly completing Form I-912 and submitting supporting documentation. Please reference www.uscis.gov/forms and scroll down to Form I-912.
The review of any fee waiver request will follow a series of steps beginning with determining whether the applicant is receiving a means-tested benefit, or analyzing whether the applicant’s household income level and/or recent financial hardship makes him or her eligible for the fee waiver. Please reference www.uscis.gov/feewaiver for a list of forms eligible for fee waiver, as well as those that are fee exempt.
Questions and Answers
Q. Do I have to use the Form I-912?
A. No, however using the Form I-912 will facilitate processing your fee waiver request. In lieu of the Form I-912, you may submit a dated written statement of the reasons why you are unable to pay the filing fee. This statement must be signed by all individuals requesting the fee waiver, specifically those who are at least 14 years of age or older. A parent or legal guardian may sign for children under 14 years of age and for those individuals who are not mentally competent to manage their own affairs, regardless of age.
Additional information and evidence that may be included, if applicable:
- Proof that you are receiving a means-tested benefit, in the form of a letter, notice, or other official document that contains the name of the agency granting the benefit as well as the name of the recipient and the name of the benefit received. Examples of means-tested benefit programs are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance of Needy Families.
- Evidence of current employment or self-employment such as recent pay statements, W-2 forms, statement(s) from your employer(s) on business stationery showing salary or wages paid, or income tax returns.
- Documentation showing assets owned, including real estate, property, cash, checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, and annuities (except for pension plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)).
- Documentation showing all liabilities and expenses owed, including the cost of rent, mortgages, lease, the average monthly cost of food, utilities, child care and elder care, medical expenses, any tuition costs, commuting costs, and monthly payments of any lawful debts.
Q. Who may request a fee waiver?
A. Anyone who is 18 years of age or older and wants to request a fee waiver for his/her own application. Anyone who is 18 years of age or older may request a fee waiver for his/her:
- Unmarried children under 18 years of age;
- Unmarried sons and daughters for whom s/he remains the legal guardian to the extent they cannot adequately care for themselves; and
- Legal ward who meets either of the above definitions.
Q. What if I am filing on behalf of a Special Immigrant Juvenile?
A. If the applicant is filing on behalf of, or as a Special Immigrant Juvenile, the fee waiver request should be supported by one of the following forms of evidence:
- A recent state or juvenile court order establishing dependency or custodial assignment of the Special Immigrant Juvenile; or
- A letter from a foster care home or similar agency overseeing the Special Immigrant Juvenile’s custodial placement that describes the juvenile’s inability to pay; or
- An approval notice on a Form I-797, Notice of Action, for a Form I-360, filed for the Special Immigrant Juvenile.
Q. Do I need English translation of documents?
A. If any document that you submit with your application is not in English, you must submit both the document itself (in the other language) and a full and complete English translation.
Q. What happens to my application that is submitted without the proper fee or the fee waiver request is denied?
A. Applications submitted without the proper fee will be rejected and returned to you. USCIS will also reject and return any application where it has denied a fee waiver request. The fee waiver denial notice will contain specific instruction about resubmitting your application.
Q. What if I have questions?
A. If you have questions, refer to our Web site (http://www.uscis.gov) or call customer service at the National Customer Service Center (NCSC): 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TDD for the hearing impaired).