Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver

Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver

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What is Form I-912?

Form I-912, “Request for Fee Waiver,” is a form used to request a fee waiver for certain immigration-related applications and petitions that typically require a fee.

Individuals who are unable to pay the required fees due to low income or financial hardship may use this form to request that USCIS waive the fees associated with their applications.

Not all USCIS applications and petitions are eligible for a fee waiver. See the list of eligible forms below.

What immigration forms are eligible for a fee waiver (Form I-912)?

Form I-912, “Request for Fee Waiver,” is used to request a fee waiver for various immigration applications and petitions that typically require a fee. 

You may request a fee waiver using Form I-912 for any of the following forms and services:

Form number

Form title

Limitations

Biometric services fee All underlying forms No waiver available for a biometrics fee required for Form I-601A
Form EOIR-29 Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals from a Decision of an Immigration Officer None
Form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card None
Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker Eligible for a fee waiver only if you are an applicant for E-2 CNMI investor nonimmigrant status
Form I-131 Application for Travel Document Eligible for a fee waiver only if you are applying for humanitarian parole
Form I-191 Application for Advance Permission to Return to Unrelinquished Domicile None
Form I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant Eligible for a fee waiver only if you are an applicant who is exempt from the public charge grounds of inadmissibility
Form I-193 Application for Waiver for Passport and/or Visa Eligible for a fee waiver only if you are an applicant who is exempt from the public charge grounds of inadmissibility
Form I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion Eligible for a fee waiver only if:

  • Your underlying application was fee exempt
  • Filing fee was waived, or
  • Your underlying application was eligible for a fee waiver
Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status A fee waiver is only available if you are applying based on:

  • Asylum;
  • Special Immigrant Status based on an approved Form I-360 as an Afghan or Iraqi Interpreter, or Afghan or Iraqi National employed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government;
  • Cuban Adjustment Act;
  • Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act;
  • Continuous residence in the United States since before January 1, 1972, (“Registry”);
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status A fee waiver is only available if you are applying based on:

  • INA section 245(l)(7); or
  • Applicant for E-2 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) investor status
Form I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility Eligible for a fee waiver only if you are exempt from the public charge grounds 
Form I-694 Notice of Appeal of Decision Under Sections 245A or 210 of the Immigration and Nationality Act Eligible for a fee waiver only if:

  • Your underlying application or petition was fee exempt;
  • Filing fee was waived; or
  • Your underlying application or petition was eligible for a fee waiver
Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence None
Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization Category (c)(33), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are NOT eligible for a fee waiver
Form I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits None
Form I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status None
Form I-881 Application for Suspension of Deportation or Special Rule Cancellation of Removal None
Form N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention None
Form N-336 Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings None
Form N-400 Application for Naturalization None
Form N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes None
Form N-565 Application for Replacement of Naturalization/Citizenship Document None
Form N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship None
Form N-600K Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322 None

The following applicants can apply for a fee waiver for ANY application or petition

Category Examples of forms eligible for a fee waiver
Battered spouses of A, G, E-3, or H nonimmigrants Forms I-485, I-601 and I-212
Battered spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen Forms I-485, I-765, I-131, I-601
T nonimmigrant Forms I-192, I-485, and I-601
Temporary Protected Status Forms I-131, I-821 and I-601
U nonimmigrant Forms I-192, I-485, and I-929
VAWA self–petitioner Forms I-485, I-601 and I-212

Who qualifies for a fee waiver (Form I-912)?

You can qualify for a fee waiver if you meet at least one of the following requirements:

Basis 1. You, your spouse, or the head of your household currently receive a means-tested benefit.

Basis 2. Your household income is at or below the 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Basis 3. You have a financial hardship.

You can select one or more basis for which you may qualify. If you choose more than one basis, you must submit supporting documentation for each basis.

What are “Means-Tested Benefits” for purposes of Form I-912?

“Means-tested benefits” refer to government assistance programs that are provided based on an individual’s income and resources.

When it comes to Form I-912, “Request for Fee Waiver,” means-tested benefits are considered as a factor in determining an applicant’s eligibility for a fee waiver.

USCIS will take into consideration federal, state or local means-tested benefits when making a decision on your Form I-912.

Examples of means-tested benefits include:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Medicaid
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Formerly known as food stamps

The following benefits are not considered means-tested for purposes of filing Form I-912:

  • Medicare
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Social Security retirement benefits
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Social Security Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI)
  • Student financial aid

To be eligible for a fee waiver the following individuals must be currently receiving a means-tested benefit:

  • You;
  • Your spouse (if you are residing together and not legally separated); OR
  • The head of the household living with you

Examples of acceptable recipient of means-tested benefits include:

Who receives means-tested benefits

Examples

An individual 
  • An individual may demonstrate that he/she personally receives a means-tested benefit
  • If a child is a sole applicant, he/she may provide proof of individual receipt of a means-tested benefit or a parent’s benefit (if living in the same household)
  • If multiple children are filing at the same time, each child must have an individual means-tested benefit or be under the parent’s household who is receiving a means-tested benefit
Family member
  • Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 residing with you can qualify for a fee waiver if you are receiving means-tested benefits
  • If your spouse is receiving means-tested benefits, you can qualify for a fee waiver if you are living together and are not legally separated
  • You cannot use not use a means-tested benefit received by a child or household member (other than a spouse). However, you can use it for demonstrating that your income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or you are experiencing financial hardship.
  • If you are 21 or older, you cannot use a parent’s means-tested benefit (even if you live together). However, you can use it for demonstrating that your income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or you are experiencing financial hardship.

Income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (Form I-912)

To qualify for a fee waiver you can demonstrate that your household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines at the time of filing Form I-912.

2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines

For the 48 Contiguous States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands:

Household Size 150% of Poverty Guidelines
1 $21,870
2 $29,580
3 $37,290
4 $45,000
5 $52,710
6 $60,420
7 $68,130
8 $75,840
  Add $7,710 for each additional person

For Alaska

Household Size 150% of Poverty Guidelines
1 $27,315
2 $36,960
3 $46,605
4 $56,250
5 $65,895
6 $75,540
7 $85,185
8 $94,830
  Add $9,645 for each additional person

For Hawaii:

Household Size 150% Poverty Guidelines
1 $25,155
2 $34,020
3 $42,885
4 $51,750
5 $60,615
6 $69,480
7 $78,345
8 $87,215
  Add $8,865 for each additional person

What is “Financial Hardship” for purposes of Form I-912?

Financial hardship refers to a situation where an individual or household is facing financial difficulties that make it challenging to pay the required immigration fees.

Examples of financial hardship include:

  • Medical expenses of family members
  • Unemployment
  • Eviction
  • Homelessness

You can choose “Financial hardship” as the basis of your fee waiver request even if your household income is above 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

When Form I-912 must be filed?

Form I-912, “Request for Fee Waiver,” must be filed together with the immigration application or petition for which you are requesting a fee waiver. 

Here are some key points regarding filing Form I-912:

  • Fee waiver cannot be filed online: If you are requesting a fee waiver, you cannot submit any petition or application online. You will need to mail the hard copy application to USCIS
  • File together: File Form I-912 at the same time you submit the associated immigration application or petition that requires a fee. The fee waiver request and the application or petition should be submitted together.
  • Fee Payment: If you are requesting a fee waiver, do not submit the required filing fees for the associated immigration application or petition. The purpose of filing Form I-912 is to request that those fees be waived due to low income or financial hardship.
  • Single Submission: The fee waiver request and the immigration application or petition should be sent as a single submission to the address specified on the USCIS website.
  • No separate request for a biometrics fee: You do not need to file a separate Form I-912 to request a waiver of the biometrics fee. If USCIS approves your Form I-912, both the filing fee and biometrics fee will be waived.
  • One Form I-912 for all family members: You can file only one Form I-912 for all family-related applications or petitions. You must send all family-related forms together.
  • Eligibility Determination: USCIS will review your fee waiver request and determine whether you qualify for a fee waiver based on the information provided and the supporting documentation.
  • Decision Notice: USCIS will notify you of the decision on your fee waiver request. If the fee waiver is approved, the associated immigration application or petition will be registered and USCIS will continue processing it without the need for fee payment.

How to file Form I-912?

To file Form I-912, “Request for Fee Waiver,” you need to take the following steps:

Step 1. Determine if a fee waiver is available:

  • First, identify the immigration benefit or service for which you are applying.
  • Fee waivers are available for certain immigration forms and services, but not all. 
  • Check the USCIS website to confirm if your application is eligible for a fee waiver.

Step 2. Determine your eligibility:

  • To be eligible for a fee waiver you must demonstrate at least one of the following:
    • You, your spouse or the head of household receive a means-tested benefit;
    • Your household income is at or below the 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines; or
    • You have a financial hardship

Step 3. Gather supporting documents:

  • You must submit supporting documentation demonstrating the receipt of means-tested benefits, income at or below 150% of the poverty level or financial hardship.
  • See the checklist of required documents below
  • If you choose more than one basis of eligibility for a fee waiver, you must provide evidence in support of each basis

Step 4. Obtain the Latest Form:

  • Download the most recent edition of Form I-912 from the USCIS website
  • Ensure that you are using the most recent edition, as using an outdated version may result in delays and rejections
  • You can file one Form I-912 for family-related applications submitted together
  • You cannot file an underlying application or petition online if you are requesting a fee waiver. You will need to mail the underlying application and Form I-912 to USCIS address

Step 5. Complete the Form:

  • Fill out Form I-912 accurately and completely. 
  • Provide all required information, and double-check for accuracy before submission. 
  • If a question does not apply to your situation, mark it as “N/A” (not applicable).
  • Sign and date the form in ink
  • Unsigned or undated forms will be rejected by USCIS
  • USCIS does not accept computer-generated or stamped signatures
  • Fill out and submit Form G-1145 to receive an electronic notification (text message or email) containing USCIS receipt number 

Step 6. Submit the Application:

  • Mail the completed Form I-912 together with the underlying application to USCIS
  • You must mail Form I-912 in one submission to the same USCIS filing address that corresponds to the underlying application or petition. 
  • For example, if you are requesting a fee waiver for Form I-485, mail a completed Form I-485 application, plus Form I-912 along with supporting documents to the USCIS Form I-485 filing address 
  • It’s recommended to mail the application via express mail with a tracking number
  • Make a copy of the completed application for your records

Step 7. USCIS Review:

  • If you submitted Form G-1145 with your application, 1 week after the submission you will receive a text message or email from USCIS with your receipt notice(s). Check your spam folder.
  • USCIS will mail the receipt notice 2-3 weeks after the submission date
  • You can track the status of your application online by entering the receipt number 

Step 8. Notification of Decision:

  • If USCIS determines that you are eligible for a fee waiver, your application will be registered and processed without the need for payment of the specified fees.
  • If USCIS determines that you are not eligible for a fee waiver, application will be rejected and returned to you within 1 month
  • When you receive a rejection notice, it means that your application wasn’t registered by USCIS. You will need to fix the issues mentioned in the rejection notice and refile your application

Form I-912 checklist of required documents

The following documents must be submitted with Form I-912 application (submit photocopies only):

Basis of the request

Examples of acceptable documents

Means-tested benefits  If you chose the means-tested benefits as basis of your request:

  • A letter, notice, or agency documents proving that you are currently receiving a means-tested benefit. The document must contain:
    • Your name (or the name of the person receiving a benefit);
    • The name of the agency granting the public benefit;
    • The type of benefit; AND
    • Expiration date (for example, a recently dated document with effective dates, date of renewal or period the approval ends)
    • If the document was issued more than 12 months ago, provide additional document(s) showing that you are still receiving this benefit
Income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines If you chose the low income as basis of your request

Proof of your and your household members’ income:

  • Most recent federal tax return
  • Pay stubs for the last 12 months
  • Recent Form W-2
  • Form SSA-1099
  • Statements from your employer on business letterhead showing salary paid
  • For students – proof that you are a full-time student (letter from a college/university)
  • Unemployment benefits documentation (must also provide the federal tax return)
  • Sworn affidavits from religious institutions, non-profit, community organizations indicating that you are receiving benefits from these organizations

Proof of additional income (if applicable):

  • Parental support
  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Educational stipends
  • Pensions
  • Social Security
  • Royalties
  • Veterans benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Regular financial support from adult children, parents, dependents, or other people living in your household
Financial Hardship If you chose the financial hardship as basis of your request

Explanation of Financial Hardship: 

  • A written statement explaining the financial hardship and why paying the fees would cause undue financial burden

Proof of income:

  • Most recent federal tax return
  • Pay stubs for the last 12 months
  • Recent Form W-2
  • Form SSA-1099
  • Statements from your employer on business letterhead showing salary paid
  • Do not include pensions plans and IRA accounts (Individual Retirement Accounts)
  • If you cannot provide proof of your income – Sworn affidavits from religious institutions, non-profit, community organizations indicating that you are receiving benefits from these organizations

Proof of assets:

  • Cash
  • Checking and savings account statements
  • Annuities statements
  • Stocks statements
  • Bonds statements 
  • Proof of ownership of other property or assets that you can easily convert into cash without incurring a hardship

Proof of monthly expenses:

  • Monthly bills and payments
  • Rent or mortgage statements
  • Utility bills
  • Medical bills
  • Childcare expenses
  • Other monthly bills or statements

Is there a filing fee to submit Form I-912?

There is no filing fee for Form I-912.

How long does it take for USCIS to make a decision on Form I-912?

Typically, it takes USCIS anywhere from 2 weeks to 1.5 month to make a decision on Form I-912. 

You will receive a notice with the decision from USCIS by mail.