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USCIS, Nov. 22, 2021
"USCIS mistakenly rejected certain applications for employment authorization (Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization) from petitioners for U nonimmigrant status that were filed without a fee (or request for fee waiver) from June 14 through Sept. 29, 2021. USCIS also mistakenly accepted fees where certain petitioners for U nonimmigrant status unnecessarily submitted a fee with their Form I-765. USCIS is tracking this issue and is committed to correcting errors and expects to issue refunds by March 22, 2022.
On June 14, 2021, USCIS implemented a process allowing individuals living in the United States with a pending bona fide Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, who warrant a favorable exercise of discretion to receive employment authorization and deferred action. Under this policy, there is no fee for an initial Form I-765 filed under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(14).
USCIS may provide individuals a refund if they filed an initial bona-fide-determination-related Form I-765 under the (c)(14) eligibility category from June 14 through Sept. 29, 2021, and paid a fee (either when they first filed, or if they refiled after a rejection for lack of fee). USCIS is taking steps to identify affected applicants and establish a process to issue refunds by March 22, 2022, where applicable.
USCIS will provide additional information regarding these steps. If you believe USCIS accepted your fee in error and do not receive a refund by March 22, 2022, you may contact USCIS:
Individuals who filed an initial bona-fide-determination-related Form I-765 under the (c)(14) eligibility category from June 14 through Sept. 29, 2021, whose Form I-765 was rejected for lack of fee, and who have not refiled, may resubmit Form I-765 without a fee.
USCIS webpages for Form I-765 and Form I-918 have additional information and instructions. USCIS correctly processed Forms I-765 submitted on or after Sept. 30, 2021. For more information on the bona fide determination process, please visit the USCIS Policy Manual."