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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services proposes Fee Waiver on Immigration Benefits

From the USCIS --
WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed for the first time a standardized fee waiver form in an effort to provide relief for financially disadvantaged individuals seeking immigration benefits. USCIS has published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the proposed form – Form I-912, Request for Individual Fee Waiver.

The proposed fee waiver form is the product of extensive collaboration with the public. In meetings with stakeholders, USCIS heard concerns that the absence of a standardized fee waiver form led to confusion about the criteria that had to be met as well as the adjudication standards. USCIS worked with stakeholders in developing the fee waiver form that is now posted for comment.

“Our goal is to bring clarity and consistency to our processes,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “We are doing so now in the critical area of providing the financially disadvantaged with access to immigration benefits.”

Mayorkas further stated that the method by which the proposed fee waiver form was devised – through extensive collaboration with the public – will be a hallmark of his approach to improving agency processes.

Currently, applicants requesting a fee waiver must do so by submitting an affidavit or unsworn declaration requesting a fee waiver and stating the reasons why he/she is unable to pay the filing fee. The new proposed fee waiver form is designed to verify that an applicant for an immigration benefit is unable to pay the fee for the benefit sought. The proposed form provides clear criteria and an efficient way to collect and process the information. The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed fee waiver form at www.regulations.gov. The comment period closed on September 13, 2010.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, visit www.uscis.gov.


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