How to Get a DACA Fee Exemption

Updated on April 10, 2024

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program provides eligible young immigrants with temporary protection from deportation and work authorization. However, the application process comes with a fee, which can be a financial burden for some applicants. Fortunately, USCIS offers a fee exemption for those who demonstrate a legitimate inability to pay.

30 Second Recap:

The DACA program offers a fee exemption for eligible applicants who demonstrate a legitimate inability to pay the application fee. To qualify, you must meet specific criteria related to age, homelessness, disability, medical debt, or low income. To request a fee exemption, complete Form I-912, provide supporting documentation, and submit the form along with your DACA application. USCIS will review your request and notify you of their decision.

How to Request a DACA Fee Exemption

Below, we detail how to request a DACA fee exemption. Here’s a quick overview:

To request a fee exemption, you must:

  1. Complete Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver
  2. Provide supporting documentation that demonstrates you meet at least one of the eligibility criteria
  3. Submit Form I-912 and supporting documentation along with your DACA application package

Eligibility for DACA Fee Exemption

To qualify for a fee exemption, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You are under 18 years of age, homeless, in foster care, or under 18 and lacking parental support
  2. You cannot care for yourself because you suffer from a serious chronic disability
  3. You have, at the time of the request, accumulated $10,000 or more in debt in the past 12 months as a result of unreimbursed medical expenses for yourself or an immediate family member, and your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level
  4. You can demonstrate that you currently have an income that is 150% of the U.S. poverty level or less

Supporting Documentation

The type of supporting documentation you need to provide depends on the eligibility criteria you meet. Examples include:

  1. Proof of age and identity
  2. Documentation from a homeless shelter, foster care agency, or other social service agency
  3. Medical records and bills demonstrating unreimbursed medical expenses
  4. Tax returns, pay stubs, or other proof of income below 150% of the U.S. poverty level

It is essential to provide clear and convincing evidence to support your fee exemption request. USCIS will review your request and notify you of their decision.

Final Thoughts

The DACA fee exemption provides an opportunity for eligible applicants who face financial hardship to apply for the program without the burden of the application fee. By understanding the eligibility criteria, gathering the necessary supporting documentation, and following the instructions for submitting a fee exemption request, you can navigate the process and increase your chances of approval.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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