Getting Your USCIS Fees Waived

USCIS Fees Waived

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is a rare government agency in that most of its operating costs are absorbed by the fees they charge potential immigrants for their applications and the money paid by entities (be it a business or family member) that petitions USCIS on behalf of potential immigrants. This being the case, to have a fee waived by USCIS only means that they must cover their operating costs somewhere else, possibly by raising their fees which are heavily criticized already for being high. USCIS does recognize that there are cases when someone needs their fees waived and does offer, in special circumstances, that option.

To apply for a fee waiver from USCIS, you must fill out Form I-912 and submit supporting documentation that proves that you are in such a financial situation that you cannot pay your fee. Three steps follow filing that determine your financial state and whether or not you qualify for a fee waiver. One, USCIS will want to know what other federal benefits you are receiving. Based on this information, USCIS might not need to know anything else. These services are called means-tested benefits and are only available to people who meet certain financial criteria. Two, USCIS will want to know if your household income is at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Three, USCIS will ask if you have any exceptional financial hardships that cause you to not posses the ability to pay your fees.

Not all forms and applications offered by USCIS qualify for a fee waiver. Here is a list of the ones that do:

• I-90-Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. • I-191-Application for Advance Permission to Return to Un-relinquished Domicile. • I-751-Permission to Remove the Conditions of Residence. • I-765-Application for Employment Authorization. • I-817-Application for Family Unity Benefits. • I-821-Application for Temporary Protected Status. • I-881-Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal. • N-300-Application to File Declaration of Intention. • N-336-Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings. • N-400-Application for Naturalization. • N-470-Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes. • N-565-Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document. • N-600-Application for Certificate of Citizenship. • N-600K-Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322.

Fees are easily waived for immigrants coming to the U.S. for humanitarian purposes such as for battered spouses or child of an A, G, E-3, or H visa, a permanent resident, or a U.S. citizen or those in the U.S. on temporary protected status. Forms associated with humanitarian fee waivers can be forms I-212, I-131, I-485, I-539, and I-601. Under specific conditions, fees for forms I-192, I-193, I-485, and I-601 may be waived. Furthermore, biometric services for all applicable situations are sometimes eligible to be waived. Check the USCIS website for more details. Also, there are various applications and services offered by USCIS that do not require the payment of a fee. Lastly, filing an I-192 does not guarantee that a fee will be waived. All fee waivers are judged by USCIS on a case-by-case basis.