Additional Information on Filing a Fee Waiver

Fee Waiver Frequently Asked Questions

USCIS is funded largely by application and petition fees. Recognizing that some applicants cannot pay the filing fees, we established a fee waiver process for certain forms and benefit types. We will approve a fee waiver only if you clearly demonstrate that you are unable to pay the filing fees based on two criteria:

  • Income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines; or
  • Financial hardship.

USCIS carefully considers the merits of each fee waiver request before making a decision.

Where can I find the fee waiver form?

What are the eligibility requirements for fee waivers?

You can request a fee waiver if:

For more details, see the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 1, General Policies and Procedures, Part B, Submission of Benefit Requests, Chapter 3, Fees, and Chapter 4, Fee Waivers.

My relative or roommate lives with me. Does their income count toward my household income?

  • If someone lives with you but does not meet the definition of a household member as described in the form instructions (PDF), do not count that person’s income as part of your household income. You should count the specific amount of any financial contribution that you receive from them only if that money was used to support your household. You would list that amount under the additional income or financial support section.
    • Example 1: If your uncle lives in your house (which you own) and paid $1,000 toward your mortgage, that $1,000 would be included under additional income or financial support because it was financial support provided to your household.
    • Example 2: You share an apartment with a roommate who is not a household member. You pay your own expenses, and your roommate pays his expenses. Your roommate’s income is not part of your household income because the roommate is not financially supporting you. Therefore, you do not include the roommate’s income as part of your household income.

I receive child support, but not the full amount as listed in the court order. Do I include the full amount of the child support as additional income or financial support or only what I actually receive?

  • Include the actual amount of child support you received. If there is a difference between what is stated in a court order or documentation, provide an explanation. Examples of documents may include bank statements, copies of checks, court documents, or other documentation indicating the actual income or financial assistance you are receiving.

How does marital separation affect my eligibility for a fee waiver?

  • If you are requesting a fee waiver based on income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and are not including your spouse’s income because of a marital separation, please provide a signed statement or documentation to establish that your spouse does not live with you and provides no income assistance. Acceptable documents may include a copy of the court order that formalized your legal separation; a formal notarized property settlement agreement; financial support agreement; or separate mortgage, lease, or utility bills that show you and your spouse live apart.
  • Even if you are separated from your spouse, your household income includes any monthly support payments that you receive from your spouse.

How does an Affidavit of Support affect my eligibility for a fee waiver?

  • If someone filed a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, or Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, under Section 213A of the INA, for you, that person may still be responsible for supporting you. However, we will only consider that person’s income or assets in deciding whether you are eligible for a fee waiver if that person is currently a member of your household.

How does requesting a fee waiver affect my current immigration status?

  • When deciding your fee waiver request, we will not consider the possibility that you might be inadmissible or deportable as a public charge. We decide your fee waiver request separately from making a decision about your eligibility for the immigration benefit. However, being inadmissible as a public charge may make you ineligible for the benefit you seek.
  • We will deny your application, petition, or request if we determine that it involves false documentation, misrepresentation of facts, or other fraud, including fraud on this fee waiver request.

What are common reasons for denying fee waiver requests?

  • The form for which you are making the request is not eligible for a fee waiver.
  • You did not sign your Form I-912 (or, if you are under 14 years of age, you did not have a parent or legal guardian sign for you).
  • You did not provide evidence that your household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • You submitted evidence in support of your fee waiver request that is not in English, and you did not provide a certified English translation.
  • If USCIS denied your fee waiver and you are not sure why, please read the denial notice (Form I-797, Notice of Action). If, after checking the denial notice, you still do not understand why we denied your fee waiver request, you may email us at lockboxsupport@uscis.dhs.gov.
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