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USCIS Fee Waivers and Reductions

A guide to fee reductions and waivers for your naturalization or green card application

What If I Can’t Afford the Filing Fees?

If you can’t afford to pay your green card fees or naturalization application fees, then U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant you a fee waiver or a fee reduction.

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How do I qualify for a USCIS fee waiver?

If you’re applying for naturalization (Form N-400), you might qualify for a fee reduction. There is currently no option to reduce the filing fee for a family or marriage green card (Form I-485), although you may qualify for a fee waiver (see below for more information about fee waivers).

To qualify for a fee reduction, your total annual household income must equal between 150% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

*See “Calculating household size” below to help you determine who is considered a member of your household.

To apply for the fee reduction, you must submit Form I-942 (officially called the “Request for Reduced Fee”) with Form N-400 (“Application for Naturalization”), the reduced amount of the fees, and all supporting documentation. USCIS will not accept Form I-942 if you submit it after filing Form N-400.

Only the application filing fee will be reduced (by 50%, from $760). Therefore, if eligible for the fee reduction, you will pay only $380.

Fee Waivers

To qualify for a fee waiver, you must demonstrate to the U.S. government that you can’t afford the filing fee due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • Your total annual household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. See “Calculating household size” below to help you determine who is considered a member of your household).
  • You have a financial hardship (such as large medical expenses or unemployment).

You may only apply for a fee waiver for certain forms and service. These include:

  • Form N-400 (“Application for Naturalization”)
  • Form I-485 (“Adjustment of Status”)

Find a full list here of forms and services that qualify for a fee waiver.

To apply for the waiver, you must submit Form I-912 (officially called the “Request for Fee Waiver”) with Form N-400 (USCIS will not accept Form I-912 if you submit it after filing Form N-400) and all supporting documentation. You do not need to submit the fees associated with Form N-400.

Calculating household size

To determine your household size, count all of the following individuals:

  • Yourself
  • The head of your household (if not you)
  • Your spouse who lives with you, if you’re married (do not include your spouse if they do not live with you or if you are separated)
  • Any family members who live with you and depend on your household’s income, including:
    • Your unmarried children or legal wards under age 21 who live with you
    • Your unmarried children or legal wards between ages 21 and 24 who are full-time students and live with you when not at school
    • Your unmarried children or legal wards who are physically or developmentally disabled or mentally impaired
    • Your parents who live with you
    • Any other dependents listed on your federal income tax return or that of your spouse or head of household.

What if I get denied a fee waiver?

If you get denied a USCIS fee waiver, you have a few options:

  1. Review the Denial: Carefully read the denial notice to understand the reasons for the decision. It may provide specific information about why your request was not approved.
  2. Reapply: If you believe you meet the eligibility criteria, you can gather additional supporting documentation and reapply for the fee waiver. Ensure that all required information is accurate and complete.
  3. Pay the Fee: If reapplying is not an option or you need to proceed quickly, you may need to pay the required filing fee. Consider arranging the necessary funds or exploring financial assistance options.
  4. Seek Legal Advice: If you’re unsure about why your fee waiver was denied or need help with your application, consult with an immigration attorney or a reputable legal aid organization. They can provide guidance and help you navigate the process.

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