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USCIS decides 1-131 is not eligible for fee waiver

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

  • By: Lily Dalke
  • Organization: Human Rights First

The USCIS revisited a response they gave in the April National Stakeholder Meeting Q & A <http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/CBO_042908.pdf> to question #7 regarding fee waivers on the I-485 application package. Their initial response indicated that a fee waiver may be applied to the I-131 (Application for Travel Document) if the I-485, I-765, and I-131 were filed concurrently after July 30, 2007 and the fee waiver application was granted on the I-485.

Upon review of the applicable law they now note that the I-131 is not actually eligible for a fee waiver at any time. The legal basis for this reasoning can be found in controlling language at 8 CFR 103.7(b) provides that "... no additional fee will be charged for a request for travel document (advance parole) or employment authorization filed by an applicant who has paid the Form I-485 application fee..."

The question and revised answer are below. The complete Q & A can be reviewed at www.uscis.gov/communityrelations.

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7. Question: When individuals in removal proceedings are granted an I-485 fee waiver and subsequently file an I-765 application (based on the pending I-485) - is the I-765 fee automatically waived since the I-485 fee was waived? According to 8 C.F.R. 103.7(b), no filing fee is required with the I-765 Application for Employment Authorization when the I-485 application fee has been paid. If USCIS has already found that an individual merits a fee waiver for the I-485, it seems unnecessary for the agency to require a separate fee waiver for an I-765 (an application/benefit for which the fee is included in the I-485 filing fee). Is it also USCIS' view that no filing fee is required with the I-765 when the I-485 application fee has been waived? Please clarify.

a. When an I-485 and I-765 are filed together with a request for a waiver of the I-485 filing fee, will the fee for both the I-485 and I-765 be waived or does USCIS want two separate fee waivers for each application to be submitted. Please clarify.

Response: If the I-485 and I-765 are filed concurrently and a fee waiver is granted on the I-485, USCIS will also waive the fee on the concurrently filed I-765. Any I-765 filed separately must be accompanied by either the appropriate filing fee, a separate fee waiver request, or evidence of I-485 fee payment after July 29, 2007. Note: I-131 filing fees may not be waived at any time.

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