8 CFR § 1244.20 - Waiver of fees.

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§ 1244.20 Waiver of fees.

(a) Any of the fees prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b) which relate to applications to the district director or service center director for Temporary Protected Status may be waived if the applicant establishes that he or she is unable to pay the prescribed fee. The applicant will have established his or her inability to pay when the adjudicating officer concludes, on the basis of the requisite affidavit and of any other information submitted, that it is more probable than not that:

(1) The applicant's gross income from all sources for the three-month period prior to the filing of the fee waiver request, including income received or earned by any dependent in the United States, was equaled or exceeded by essential expenditures for such three-month period; and

(2) The applicant does not own, possess, or control assets sufficient to pay the fee without substantial hardship.

(b) For purposes of this section, essential expenditures are limited to reasonable expenditures for rent, utilities, food, transportation to and from employment, and any essential extraordinary expenditures, such as essential medical expenses, or expenses for clothing, laundry, and child care, to the extent that the applicant can show that those expenditures made during the three-month period prior to the filing of the fee waiver request were reasonable and essential to his or her physical well-being or to earning a livelihood.

(c) For purposes of this section, the TPS registration fee (including the fee for employment authorization, if applicable) shall be considered an essential expenditure. A fee waiver will be granted if the sum of the fees for TPS registration and employment authorization equals or exceeds income and assets that remain after deducting other essential expenditures.

(d) If an adjudicating officer is satisfied that an applicant has established inability to pay, he or she shall not deny a fee waiver due to the cost of administering the TPS program.

(e) For purposes of this section, the following documentation shall be required:

(1) The applicant seeking a fee waiver must submit an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, setting forth information to establish that he or she satisfies the requirements of this section. The affidavit shall individually list:

(i) The applicant's monthly gross income from each source for each of the three months prior to the filing of the fee waiver request;

(ii) All assets owned, possessed, or controlled by the applicant or by his or her dependents;

(iii) The applicant's essential monthly expenditures, itemized for each of the three months prior to the filing of the fee waiver request, including essential extraordinary expenditures; and

(iv) The applicant's dependents in the United States, his or her relationship to those dependents, the dependents' ages, any income earned or received by those dependents, and the street address of each dependent's place of residence.

(2) The applicant may also submit other documentation tending to substantiate his or her inability to pay.

(f) If the adjudicating officer concludes based upon the totality of their circumstances that the information presented in the affidavit and in any other additional documentation is inaccurate or insufficient, the adjudicating officer may require that the applicant submit the following additional documents prior to the adjudication of a fee waiver:

(1) The applicant's employment records, pay stubs, W-2 forms, letter(s) from employer(s), and proof of filing of a local, state, or federal income tax return. The same documents may also be required from the applicant's dependents in the United States.

(2) The applicant's rent receipts, bills for essential utilities (for example, gas, electricity, telephone, water), food, medical expenses, and receipts for other essential expenditures.

(3) Documentation to show all assets owned, possessed, or controlled by the applicant or by dependents of the applicant.

(4) Evidence of the applicant's living arrangements in the United States (living with relative, living in his or her own house or apartment, etc.), and evidence of whether his or her spouse, children, or other dependents are residing in his or her household in the United States.

(5) Evidence of the applicant's essential extraordinary expenditures or those of his or her dependents residing in the United States.

(g) The adjudicating officer must consider the totality of the information submitted in each case before requiring additional information or rendering a final decision.

(h) All documents submitted by the applicant or required by the adjudicating officer in support of a fee waiver request are subject to verification by the Service.

(i) In requiring additional information, the adjudicating officer should consider that some applicants may have little or no documentation to substantiate their claims. An adjudicating officer may accept other evidence, such as an affidavit from a member of the community of good moral character, but only if the applicant provides an affidavit stating that more direct documentary evidence in unavailable.

[57 FR 34507, Aug. 5, 1992. Redesignated at 62 FR 10367, 10382, Mar. 6, 1997]