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Home » Articles » Your ultimate guide to Form I-942

Your ultimate guide to Form I-942

Worker mobility has been the norm for businesses for years, especially when hiring overseas workers before the Internet.

Even with global mobility taking new forms, many organizations still allow their staff to participate in their operations in action. This is one of the reasons immigration is still popular.

Not all staff choosing to stay in another country have the capacity to shoulder all of the requirements needed to file for naturalization. This is where Form I-942 and other relevant applications can help.

Learn everything about the bits and bobs of Form I-942 in this article.

What is Form I-942?

See Form I-942

Form I-942, or the request for reduced fee, is an application form designed specifically for individuals seeking a reduced filing fee for naturalization. It is filed along with N-400 to the application for naturalization.

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This form ensures that individuals unable to afford the full cost of immigration services are not excluded from accessing these benefits.

Form I-942 is one way to promote equal access to immigration services for all. However, it should not be confused with the application for waived fees for naturalization, which Form I-912 covers.

canadian woman consular officer giving passport to male immigrant, work visa, citizenship
What is Form I-942?

Purpose of Form I-942

The primary purpose of Form I-942 is to address the financial challenges faced by individuals and families unable to afford the complete fee associated with immigration benefits. 

It is designed to assist low-income individuals as defined in the Federal Poverty Guidelines set by the US government.

Form I-942 serves as a lifeline for these individuals. It ensures they have a fair opportunity to access the benefits required to build a secure and prosperous future in the United States.

Who must file Form I-942?

There’s a huge difference between qualifications in filing for a reduced (I-942) or waived fee (I-912) for naturalization.

Low-income individuals

If you fall within the income threshold set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you may be eligible to file Form I-942.

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Per the guidelines, you can file this form if your documented household income falls within 150% to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines by the time of filing.

Individuals beyond the low-income requirements

If your income level is classified as below 150% by the poverty guidelines, you can file for I-912 instead. This alleviates your burden of paying immigration fees so you can reallocate your budget for something else.

Victims of human trafficking

Victims of human trafficking who have been granted T nonimmigrant status may file either Form I-912 for waived fees or I-942.

This is an essential measure to support and protect those who have endured immense hardship, ensuring they can access the benefits they deserve.

Man Sitting in the Office of the US Embassy with Immigration Application and Having Visa Interview.
Who must file Form I-942

Form I-942 eligibility requirements

Applicants must meet specific eligibility requirements for a reduced fee. Let’s take a closer look at these requirements:

Meeting the income threshold

Individuals filing Form I-942 is reviewed according to their family size, income sources, and financial obligations .

By providing verifiable income documentation, you can assess whether you meet the income threshold for a reduced fee.

Demonstrating financial hardship

In addition to meeting the income threshold, applicants must demonstrate financial hardship preventing them from paying the full cost of immigration services. 

Financial hardship can stem from various factors, including unemployment, medical expenses, or significant financial responsibilities. 

By providing supporting documentation and clearly explaining your financial situation, you can establish your eligibility for a reduced fee.

How to properly fill out Form I-942

Completing Form I-942 is critical to ensure your eligibility assessment for a reduced or waived fee. 

For employers, you can have a virtual assistant or another staff assist your team member in filing their application for naturalization and I-942.

Here is a detailed step-by-step guide on properly completing the form:

  1. Download and print a copy of Form I-942 from the official USCIS website.
  2. Carefully review the form’s instructions to understand the necessary information.
  3. Provide your personal and contact details accurately. This includes your full name, address, and reliable contact information.
  4. Indicate the specific immigration benefit for which you are applying and clearly explain the purpose of your application.
  5. Complete the sections related to your income, assets, and expenses. Submit the necessary verifiable documentation to support your claim of financial hardship.
  6. Follow the instructions for all identity verification requirements meticulously and sign the form correctly.
  7. Review the completed form thoroughly to ensure all required fields are fully and accurately filled out.
  8. Make a copy of the completed form for your personal records before submitting it.

Please note that it’s vital to exercise caution and accuracy when filling out Form I-942 to avoid potential delays or denials in your reduced fee request.

When to file Form I-942

Filing Form I-942 appropriately ensures your eligibility for a reduced fee. Here are some important points to consider:

  • Timing of benefits application. File Form I-942 concurrently with your application for the immigration benefit for which you seek a reduced fee.
  • Early submission. Filing Form I-942 as early as possible is highly recommended. This ensures that your application for a reduced fee is processed expeditiously and prevents any delays in processing your overall immigration application.
  • Late submission: If you have already submitted your immigration application without including Form I-942, you may submit it separately within a specified timeframe. It is advisable to consult the USCIS website or seek legal advice for the exact deadline.
USA Visa Approved Rubber Stamp and Application Form
When to file Form I-942

Remember to consult the official USCIS website for additional information and consider seeking legal advice for personalized guidance based on your circumstances.

In addition, consult with a qualified immigration attorney for personalized guidance based on your circumstances.

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