U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed revising evidence requirements for Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. Specifically, USCIS would reduce the evidence required for the I-912 to only a person’s household income and no longer require proof of whether an individual receives a means-tested benefit.

USCIS explained that its policy since 2011 has been to permit a fee waiver where an applicant received a means-tested benefit, even for a short period of time. USCIS said it has found that the various income levels used in states to grant means-tested benefits “result in inconsistent income levels being used to determine eligibility for a fee waiver.” Therefore, the revised form “will not permit a fee waiver based on receipt of a means-tested benefit, but will retain the poverty-guideline threshold and financial hardship criteria.”

USCIS said that if it decides to proceed with the form revision after considering public comments, it will rescind Policy Memorandum PM-602-0011.1, Fee Waiver Guidelines as Established by the Final Rule of the USCIS Fee Schedule; Revisions to Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 10.9, AFM Update AD11-26 (Mar. 13, 2011) and issue new guidance on the documentation acceptable for individuals to present to demonstrate that they are unable to pay a fee when requesting a fee waiver. The applications and petitions that are eligible for a fee waiver will not be changed by this form and policy change, USCIS said.

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