Form I-912 Instructions and Information

Form I-912 Instructions and Information

Coming to the United States can be an exciting journey. It can also become quite expensive with all of the necessary filing and service fees. 

If you find yourself struggling to make the payments needed for your United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) immigration fees, there is hope for you and your loved ones. You may be eligible for USCIS Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. If you meet the Form I-912 requirements, then you will be exempt from paying the filing fees required by your application. 

In this article, we will cover what Form I-912 is, how to fill out the application for I-912 fee waiver request, and additional information about requesting a fee waiver.

What Is Form I-912?

The I-912 form is the USCIS waiver fee request. If you are eligible, you can file Form I-912 and provide evidence to show that you are unable to pay the immigration fees. Form I-912 is an 11-page document divided into 11 parts. We will go over each of these Form I-912 sections further down the page. 

USCIS will either approve or deny your request; if your Form I-912 is approved, you do not have to pay for your immigration fees.

If your Form I-912 is denied, your form will then be held by USCIS and you will need to pay the application fee for your immigration form.

Fee Waiver Letter

You are also allowed to write a letter to USCIS describing your situation in place of filing a Form I-912. The fee waiver letter must include all supporting evidence that would be given in Form I-912. Have everyone in your household sign the fee waiver letter. 

Who Qualifies for Form I-912?

First and foremost, to be eligible for Form I-912, you must be filing an application that allows the Form I-912 waiver request. 

After you have established that the immigration application allows a fee waiver request form, you must establish your personal eligibility. 

To qualify for Form I-912, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Whoever is the financial head of your household must be receiving at least one means-tested benefit. 
  • You meet the Health and Human Services (HHS) Poverty Guidelines for the state you are living in. This is based on your household size and whether you fall at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For example, if you have a household of three people, you will need to make $34,545 or less to meet the HHS poverty benchmark.
  • You cannot afford the filing fee because of an unexpected hardship. 

You can apply for Form I-912 if your spouse is the one receiving the benefit and you live together. Your child is also eligible and can use your benefits to apply for Form I-912. However, if your child receives means-tested benefits and you do not, you cannot use your child’s benefits.

What Is a Means-Tested Benefit?

A means-tested benefit is a public financial benefit that you are given when you need governmental assistance. If your income qualifies you for a means-tested benefit, USCIS sees that benefit as a qualifying means-tested benefit.

You also must show that you are currently receiving government assistance. As part of your evidence, provide the type of benefit you are receiving and the name of the government agency providing it. You must also put your name and the applicable dates of the benefit. 

Can I File Form I-912 With My DACA Request?

Unfortunately there are no fee waivers for DACA

Qualifying Immigration Forms to Request USCIS Fee Waiver

There are 25 forms that are eligible for the USCIS fee waiver and an additional six statuses eligible for Form I-912. See the full list of forms and statuses on the USCIS website here (under “Special Instructions”).

Included in the list is a naturalization fee waiver for Form N-400, a citizenship fee waiver for Form N-600, and a green card renewal fee waiver for Form I-90. 

As of now, the special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) with form I-360 is not eligible for Form I-912. However, if you gain SIJS, you may be able to have the permanent residency fee waived using Form I-912. 

USCIS Form I-912 Instructions

Form I-912 has 11 sections. When filling out your waiver request, make sure you print legibly and in black ink. Be sure to also sign your form, as USCIS will reject any unsigned request form. 

The very top of Form I-912 is reserved exclusively for USCIS use. Ignore this section for now and start at Part 1: Basis for your request.

For a Form I-912 sample, take a look at the Form I-912 PDF on the USCIS website.

Part 1

This opening section recognizes your need for a request. You have three options that you can check in part one. You are allowed to check more than one box, if you qualify. Your choices are:

  1. You, your spouse, or the head of your household are receiving means-tested benefits. Note: The qualifying person must live in the same household as you.
  2. Your household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  3. You are experiencing financial hardship.

Each of the three choices gives instructions on where else in Form I-912 you will provide more about your qualifying information.

Part 2

Here, you will provide biographical information, including your:

  • Last, first, and middle names
  • Additional names you’ve used/had in the past
  • A-Number, if applicable
  • USCIS online account number, if applicable
  • Date of birth
  • U.S. social security number, if applicable
  • Marital status

Part 3

This section is titled “Applications and Petitions for Which You Are Requesting a Fee Waiver.” Here, you will put your and the additional members of your household’s information. These are the applicants for whom you are requesting a fee waiver for their immigration form(s).

Part 4

If your reasoning for filing Form I-912 is on the basis of receiving means-tested benefits, this section is where you will put the recipients and benefits information, including:

  • Beneficiary’s name
  • Their relationship to you
  • The place you/they are receiving benefits from
  • What type of benefit 
  • The start date of the benefit
  • The expiration date of the benefit

Part 5

If your reasoning for filing Form I-912 is on the basis of your household income being at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, then you will fill out the required information in part five. You will include:

  • Your employment status
  • If you are receiving unemployment benefits
  • Information about your marital status
  • Information about people living in your household
  • Your annual household income
  • Family members’ income
  • Total financial support
  • If you have had any changes to your marital status, income, or household size since you filed your federal tax returns

Part 6

If your reasoning for filing Form I-912 is on the basis of an unexpected emergency situation and financial hardship, then this is the section where you will provide further information about your circumstances. You will also need to include the value of any cash and assets you currently have—except for your retirement accounts.

You will also provide your total monthly expenses and liabilities including:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Loans
  • Car payments
  • Child care payments
  • Elder care payments
  • Insurance payments
  • And more

Part 7

Read part seven of Form I-912 carefully, as it is the certification and signature part of the fee waiver request. You will also include your contact information here.

Make sure that if you are filing on behalf of your family members, that they also sign and date the Form I-912. 

Part 8

Part eight is for the family member’s statement, certification, contact information, and signature. 

Part 9

If you used an interpreter, part nine is for the interpreter’s statement, certification, contact information, and signature. You will also include their mailing address.

Part 10

This section is the same as part nine, except instead of being for an interpreter, it is for any preparer, such as your immigration attorney. 

Part 11

Any additional information that needs to be included in the form should be added here. For example, if you ran out of room in one of the previous sections, you will provide the rest of that information in part 11. 

Turning in I-912 Fee Waiver Request Form

Since Form I-912 is a request to waive your immigration application fees, you will submit your I-912 form with the application you are filing. 

This means that you need to submit your Form I-912 to the USCIS lockbox or service center assigned to the immigration application you are filing for. Make sure you send your documents to the correct address; there are multiple dropboxes for immigration documents. Sending your paperwork to the correct address means that USCIS can start processing your application as soon as possible.

Filing Form I-912 Together With Your Application

It is of utmost importance that you file your Form I-912 together with your immigration application. USCIS will not accept a Form I-912 that is in a separate package from your application.

Can I File My I-912 Form Online?

USCIS does not allow waiver request forms to be completed online. This means that you must send hardcopies (printed forms) through the mail of both your Form I-912 and the immigration status form you are applying for. 

USCIS Fee Waiver Processing Time

There is no specific USCIS fee waiver processing time because the amount of time depends on which immigration form you are filing for. You can check your case status at the USCIS online case status check webpage.

Do I Send My Waiver Fee USCIS Request With a Payment?

No, do not include a check, money order, or Form G-1450 credit card payment with your immigration application. If you do submit a payment, USCIS may disregard your application for fee waiver and process your payment, which is what you do not want to happen. 

What Happens If My Form I-912 USCIS Waiver Fee Is Declined?

If USCIS declines your request, then you will need to pay the application fee. They will send your application back to you at the address you provide, which is why it’s crucial to provide the correct mailing address. 

Once you receive your application, you need to resubmit it with the filing fee back to the correct USCIS direct filing address.

Contact an Immigration Attorney Today

The experienced immigration attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. have over 30 years of experience in immigration and naturalization law. We understand that it can be difficult to afford the USCIS filing fees for your immigration forms. 

The cost of becoming a U.S. citizen or filing other immigration forms can be overwhelming, which is why we are here to help guide and represent you through the process of coming to the United States. 

We can help you with your immigration forms and any questions you may have about requesting a waiver fee.For more information, call us at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online contact form today. We look forward to hearing from you!

We're looking forward to hearing from you!