December 14, 2007

USCIS Announces Fee Waiver for Fire Victims

Waiver Will Help Applicants Who Lost Residence and/or Employment

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials will give special consideration to fee waiver requests from applicants who lost their residence and/or employment as a direct result of the October wildfires in Southern California and are seeking to replace certain documents.

Fee waiver requests submitted in connection with the following the three applications are covered by this announcement: the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90); the Application for Replacement Naturalization Citizenship Document (Form N-565); and, the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765).

USCIS recognizes that the massive Southern California wildfires have caused economic duress and loss for many of its customers who lived in areas affected by the fires, including loss of housing, employment and personal documentation. As a result, USCIS anticipates an increase in applications for replacement of three key documents - Employment Authorization Documents, Permanent Resident Cards and Naturalization Certificates - accompanied by a corresponding increase in fee waiver requests. USCIS offices will remain sensitive to applicants who may be unable to provide any documentation in addition to the required affidavit or unsworn declaration proving their “inability to pay” if they lost their home and/or employment as a direct result of the fire. USCIS will also waive the fee for the collection of biometrics, which is required with filing of a form I-90, if requested by a customer affected by the Southern California wildfire victims who demonstrates an inability to pay that fee.

USCIS Officers will consider fee waiver requests for petitions, applications, and biometrics made by Southern California wildfire victims on a case-by-case basis.

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