This practice alert provides a brief overview of some of the main changes practitioners can expect with the proposed change to fee waiver eligibility and process, most significantly by eliminating receipt of means-tested benefits as a basis for requesting a fee waiver. Given that these significant changes to the fee waiver process will make it more difficult and time-intensive to establish inability to pay an immigration filing fee, we urge practitioners to advise clients who are eligible for a fee waiver based on receipt of means-tested benefits to apply as soon as possible, before this option is eliminated.
UPDATE: On October 24, 2019, USCIS released the revised Form I-912 Fee Waiver Request. As expected, the new form makes the changes discussed in the above practice alert, most significantly eliminating receipt of means-tested benefits as a basis for requesting a fee waiver. The new edition of the I-912 fee waiver form must be used starting December 2, 2019, so the ILRC urges those who qualify for a fee waiver based on receipt of means-tested benefits to submit their fee waivers and associated applications as soon as possible, no later than December 1! Up until December 2, 2019, all previous editions of Form I-912 are accepted.