This packet is designed to help advocates prepare naturalization fee waiver applications. The packet includes information from USCIS and ILRC on how to complete and review a fee waiver application to accompany naturalization applications, the adjudication standards for fee waiver applications, and a sample completed fee waiver form.
February 24, 2020 Update: USCIS Continues to Accept Previous Editions of the I-912 Form
In October 2019, DHS announced sweeping changes to the Form I-912, effective December 2, 2019. Changes included restricting proof of fee waiver eligibility by eliminating receipt of means-tested benefits as a possible basis for qualifying for a fee waiver and imposing stricter evidentiary requirements for proof of income.
But on December 9, 2019, in a lawsuit titled City of Seattle v. DHS, a federal district court judge in the Northern District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction barring USCIS from implementing the changes to the fee waiver.
IMPORTANT: As of February 24, 2020, USCIS is accepting all editions of the I-912 fee waiver application form. The changes to the fee waiver that were announced in October 2019 are not in effect. The edition of the I-912 form available on the USCIS website is currently the 10/15/19 edition but USCIS will accept all prior editions. Applicants may also submit applicant-generated fee waiver requests (i.e., requests that are not submitted on Form I-912) that comply with 8 CFR § 103.7(c). Note that the Instructions for Request for Fee Waiver that accompany the 10/15/19 edition of the I-912 form incorporate a warning about public charge.
Due to litigation and USCIS proposals related to fees and fee waivers, policies around the fee waiver form could change. Be sure to check the USCIS website for updates and editions accepted before completing the Form I-912, at https://www.uscis.gov/i-912.
The ILRC will continue to track developments. You may also review ILRC’s resources, Fee Waivers: Status of Proposed Changes at https://www.ilrc.org/fee-waivers-status-proposed-changes and Public Charge at https://www.ilrc.org/public-charge.