USCIS Introduces First-Ever Fee Waiver Form
By Oscar A. Buddè Immigration Attorney
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released it’s first ever Fee Waiver Form I-912, which goes into effect today, November 23, 2010. This new Form provides a standardized method through which individuals may seek a fee waiver for certain USCIS Forms. USCIS will evaluate all factors, circumstances and evidence in support of a fee waiver request when making their final determination. A factor that has a significant impact on USCIS’s decision is whether or not the applicant receives a, “means-tested benefit.” USCIS defines “means-tested benefit” as follows:

A means-tested benefit is a public benefit where a person’s eligibility for the benefit, or the amount of such benefit, or both, are determined on the basis of the person’s income and resources, including those that may lawfully be deemed available to the person by the benefit- granting agency. Means-tested benefits may be either federally or state funded. See Page 2 of the I-912 Form Instructions.

Some examples of qualifying means-tested benefits include:

* Medicaid
* Food Stamps
* Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
* Supplemental Security Income

If you are a recipient of a means-tested benefit when you file Form I-912, you will be considered eligible for a fee waiver.

Fee waivers are available for the following Forms under Form I-912:

* Form I-90, Application to Replace a Permanent Residency Card
* Form I-131, Application for Travel Document for those applying for humanitarian parole
* Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant
* Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion
* Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence of Adjust Status
* Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
* Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
* Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
* Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
* Form I-817, Application for Family Unity Benefits
* Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status
* Form I-881, Application for Suspension of Deportation
* Form N-300, Application to File Declaration of Intention
* Form N-336, Request for a Decision on a Hearing in Naturalization Procedures
* Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
* Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purpose
* Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document
* Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship
* Form N-600k, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate
* Biometrics services fees in connection with any application or petition, regardless of whether it is listed above.

You can find out more information about the new Fee Waiver Form I-912 through the following documents:

USCIS Memo on the Fee Waiver Form

Form I-912 Instructions