8 CFR § 106.3 - Fee waivers and exemptions.

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§ 106.3 Fee waivers and exemptions.

(a) Fee waiver. No fee relating to any benefit request submitted to USCIS may be waived unless otherwise provided in this paragraph.

(1) An alien may apply for a fee waiver if there is a statutory or regulatory provision allowing for fee waivers including as provided by section 245(l)(7) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1255(l)(7). Specifically, the following categories of requestors may apply for a waiver of any fees for an immigration benefit and any associated filing up to and including an application for adjustment of status:

(i) Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners and derivatives as defined under section 101(a)(51) and anyone otherwise self-petitioning due to battery or extreme cruelty pursuant to the procedures in section 204(a) of the Act;

(ii) T nonimmigrants;

(iii) U nonimmigrants;

(iv) Battered spouses of A, G, E-3, or H nonimmigrants;

(v) Battered spouses or children of a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen and derivatives as provided under section 240A(b)(2) of the Act; and

(vi) Applicants for Temporary Protected Status, including both initial applicants and re-registering TPS beneficiaries.

(2) The following categories of requestors may apply for a waiver of any fees for an immigration benefit and any associated filing up to and including an application for adjustment of status:

(i) Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJs) who have been placed in out-of-home care under the supervision of a juvenile court or a state child welfare agency at the time of filing; and

(ii) Afghan or Iraqi Translator or Interpreter, Iraqi National employed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government, or Afghan National employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government or employed by the International Security Assistance Forces.

(3) Requestors who have been approved for the immigration benefits in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section may apply for a waiver of any fees for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, Form N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship, or Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322, as applicable.

(b) Director's exception. The Director of USCIS may authorize the waiver, in whole or in part, of a form fee required by 8 CFR 106.2 that is not otherwise waivable under this section, if the Director determines that such action is an emergent circumstance, or if a major natural disaster has been declared in accordance with 44 CFR part 206, subpart B. This discretionary authority may be delegated only to the USCIS Deputy Director. The Director may not waive the requirements of paragraph (c) or (d) of this section. An applicant, petitioner, or requestor may not directly submit a request to the Director. In addition, a waiver of fees as provided in this paragraph may not be provided to a requestor who is seeking an immigration benefit for which he or she:

(1) Is subject to the affidavit of support requirements under section 213A of the Act or is already a sponsored immigrant as defined in 8 CFR 213a.1 unless the applicant is seeking a waiver of the joint filing requirement to remove conditions on his or her residence based on abuse; or

(2) Is subject to the public charge inadmissibility ground under section 212(a)(4) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(4).

(c) Eligibility for fee waiver. A waiver of fees is limited to an alien with an annual gross household income at or below 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines as updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2).

(d) Form required. A person must submit a request for a fee waiver on the form prescribed by USCIS in accordance with the instructions on the form.

(e) Exemptions. The Director of USCIS may provide an exemption for any fee required by 8 CFR 106.2. This discretionary authority may only be delegated to the USCIS Deputy Director. The Director must determine that such action would be in the public interest, the action is consistent with the applicable law, and the exemption is related to one of the following:

(1) Asylees;

(2) Refugees;

(3) National security;

(4) Emergencies or major disasters declared in accordance with 44 CFR part 206, subpart B;

(5) An agreement between the U.S. government and another nation or nations; or

(6) USCIS error.

(f) Documentation of gross household income. A person submitting a request for a fee waiver must submit the following documents as evidence of annual gross household income:

(1) A transcript(s) from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the person's IRS Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return;

(2) If the person was not required to file a Federal income tax return, he or she must submit their most recent IRS Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, Form 1099G, Certain Government Payments, or Social Security Benefit Form SSA-1099, if applicable;

(3) If the person filed a Federal income tax return, and has recently changed employment or had a change in salary, the person must also submit copies of consecutive pay statements (stubs) for the most recent month or longer;

(4) If the person does not have income and has not filed income tax returns, he or she must submit documentation from the IRS that indicates that no Federal income tax transcripts and no IRS Form W-2s were found;

(5) An alien who is applying for or has been granted benefits or status as a VAWA self-petitioner or derivative or a T or U nonimmigrant, who does not have any income or cannot provide proof of income may:

(i) Describe the situation in sufficient detail as provided in the form and form instructions prescribed by DHS to substantiate that he or she has income at or below 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines as well as the inability to obtain the required documentation; and

(ii) Provide pay statements (stubs) or affidavits from religious institutions, non-profits, or other community-based organizations verifying that he or she is currently receiving some benefit or support from that entity and attesting to his or her financial situation as documentation of income, if available; and

(6) For applications related to Special Immigrant Juvenile classification, the applicant must provide the following in lieu of documentation of gross household income:

(i) Evidence that the applicant is approved for or filed for Special Immigrant Juvenile classification, and

(ii) Evidence that the applicant remains in out-of-home care such as foster care.