USCIS Issues Memo on Fee Waiver Guidelines

On March 13, 2011, the USCIS issued a policy memo on the new fee waiver guidelines. The lawyers at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates are available to answer any questions about fee waivers under the newly issued memo.

The final rule establishes a new fee schedule for immigration-benefit requests and amends the regs governing fee-waiver eligibility. Our clients may now use a new Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, to facilitate the fee-waiver request process. The form has been available since Novermber 23, 2010. Only forms listed in AFM Chapter 10.9 are eligible for a fee waiver. Please refer to AFM Chapter 10.9 by accessing the USCIS website found here.

USCIS will adjudicate each fee-waiver request on its own merits. If you prove to USCIS that you are unable to pay the fee, USCIS will grant the fee-waiver request. Inability to pay the fee is based on your overall financial picture and household situation.

Generally speaking, fee waiver requests are considered by taking into account 1) whether the applicant is receiving a means-tested benefit (‘means tested benefits’ are benefits which are allocated according to your means), 2) whether the applicant’s household income level renders him or her unable to pay (i.e., income less than 150% of the poverty line – for poverty line info, please see the Health and Human Services website), or 3) whether recent financial hardship otherwise renders him or her unable to pay.

The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates has lawyers that zealously advocate for clients whose financial means are such that fee waiver requests are necessary. If you are contemplating filing an immigrant petition and are interested in determining whether you apply for a fee waiver, please contact our firm today at 1-877-479-4USA.

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