SUPPORTING STATEMENT for EOIR-26A_2021.signed

SUPPORTING STATEMENT for EOIR-26A_2021.signed.pdf

Fee Waiver Request

OMB: 1125-0003

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SUPPORTING STATEMENT
OMB No. 1125-0003
Fee Waiver Request
Form EOIR-26A
______________________________________________________________________________
Part A. Justification
1. Necessity of Information - The Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) may, in its discretion,
authorize the filing of an appeal or motion over which the Board has jurisdiction without
payment of the required filing fee. See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.8(a)(3). Similarly, an immigration
judge may, in his or her discretion, waive a fee for motion or application for relief. See 8
C.F.R. § 1003.24(d). An individual who wants a waiver of such fee must demonstrate that he
or she is unable to pay the fee. To request a fee waiver before the Board, the individual files
with his or her Notice of Appeal or motion a Fee Waiver Request (Form EOIR-26A) in lieu
of the filing fee. Id. While the regulations do not require the Form EOIR-26A be used to
request a fee waiver before the immigration judge, it has long been accepted in the absence
of a specific fee waiver form for such purposes. If the request does not establish the inability
to pay the required fee, the application, appeal or motion will not be deemed properly filed. Id.,
see also 8 C.F.R. § 1003.24(d). EOIR has removed “Board of Immigration Appeals” from the
header of the Form EOIR-26A to more clearly demonstrate its multipurpose use for requesting
a fee waiver before both the Board and the immigration judge. While the Form EOIR-26A is
required to request a fee waiver before the Board per the regulations, it remains an optional
form for requesting such a waiver before the immigration judge. Compare 8 C.F.R. §
1003.24(d) with 8 C.F.R. § 1003.24(d). EOIR intends to further update its forms page on the
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EOIR website to indicate the mandatory and optional uses of the form.
The form requests information about the individual’s assets and expenses, which is then used by
the adjudicator to determine whether the individual has established his or her inability to pay the
filing fee. In addition to changing the header of the form, EOIR has reformatted the assets and
expenses fields into a more user-friendly table format with clearly delineated columns and
rows, and has retitled those columns as “income sources” and “expense sources.” The form was
modeled on similar forms used by the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals for individuals who
are financially unable to pay the docket and filing fees. See United States Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit, Form 4. Motion and Affidavit for Permission to Proceed in Forma Pauperis,
available at: https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/uploads/forms/form04.pdf. EOIR intends
to assist applicants by making the form available in a fillable pdf format that will automatically
calculate the total of the assets column less the total expenses.

2. Needs and Uses - The information provided on the Form EOIR-26A is reviewed by the
adjudicators to determine whether to waive the filing fee for an application, appeal or motion. One
fee waiver request is collected for each application, appeal or motion in which a waiver of the
filing fee is requested

3. Use of Technology - The use of this form provides the most efficient means for collecting
and processing the required data. The Form EOIR-26A is available on EOIR’s website for
printing. The information can be typed into the online form which is then printed out for
submission to the agency, or the individual has the option of printing the form in its entirety to
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complete by typing or printing legibly.
Currently, EOIR does not have the capability to accept electronic submission of the Form
EOIR-26A. However, EOIR has developed an eRegistry, which is part of a long-term agency
initiative to create an electronic case access and filing system for the Immigration Court and the
Board of Immigration Appeals. eRegistry allows attorneys and accredited representatives with
full accreditation to create and maintain a personal profile in order to electronically submit forms
and update existing forms. EOIR is also in the process of deploying its electronic case filing
system to the Board and all of the immigration courts nationwide. The electronic filing system
will allow parties to file applications, motions, appeals and other forms electronically. Electronic
submission of the Form EOIR-26A is part of EOIR’s long-term electronic filing initiative.

4. Efforts to Identify Duplication - The only method by which an individual can request a waiver
of a fee required to file an appeal or motion with the Board is to file the Form EOIR-26A in
conjunction with the Notice of Appeal or motion. Individuals seeking to request a fee waiver
before the immigration judge has the option to use the EOIR-26A or to submit a written, signed
affidavit or declaration in conforming with the regulations at 8 C.F.R. § 1003.24(d). A review
of EOIR’s existing forms revealed no duplication of effort, and there is no similar information
currently available which can be used for this purpose.

5. Impact on Small Businesses - This collection does not have an impact on small businesses or
other small entities.

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6. Consequences of Less Frequent Collection - Failure to collect and present this information
would deprive an individual who may be unable to pay the required fee for an appeal or motion
the opportunity to have his/her request for a fee waiver considered by the Board.

7. Special Circumstances Influencing Collection - None of the eight special
circumstances identified in OMB instruction number seven apply to this collection.

8. Federal Register Publication and Consultation – A 60-day notice covering this collection was
published in the Federal Register at 86 Fed. Reg. 12713 (Mar. 4, 2021). A 30-day notice
covering this collection will be published in the Federal Register following the expiration of the
60-day notice. Copies of these notices will be provided in ROCIS. If comments are received,
they will be considered and incorporated where appropriate.

9. Payment or Gift to Claimants - EOIR does not provide any payment or gifts to respondents.

10. Assurance of Confidentiality – The original Fee Waiver Request is maintained by EOIR in
the official court record of proceeding (ROP) and is accessed by those EOIR employees
processing the ROP. The confidentiality of the contents of an individual’s Fee Waiver Request
(Form EOIR-26A) is protected by EOIR, as are all the documents in the ROP, to the extent
permitted by the law, including the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act.

11. Justification for Sensitive Questions - There are no questions of a sensitive nature.
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12. Estimate of Hour Burden
a. Number of Respondents

5,499

b. Number of Responses per Respondent

1

c. Total Annual Responses

5,499

d. Hours per Response

1 hour

e. Total Annual Hourly Reporting Burden

5,499 hours

5,499 respondents x 1 response per respondent x 1 hour per response = 5,499 burden
hours.

13. Estimate of Cost Burden - There are no capital or start-up costs associated with this
information collection. The estimated public cost is $54,990. This estimate is derived by
multiplying the number of respondents (5,499) by the hours per response (1) by the individual’s
estimated cost of $10 per hour for completing the form (the individual’s time and supplies):
5,499 respondents x 1 hour per response x $10/hr = $54,990. There is no filing fee associated
with this collection.

14. Estimated Cost to the Federal Government – EOIR estimates that the annual government
cost for printing, distributing, stocking, processing and maintaining the Form EOIR-26A is
$5,002. This amount includes printing costs of $1,100, which was derived by multiplying the 2
pages of the form by an estimated $.10 per copy by the estimated 5,499 respondents per year.
This amount also includes stocking, processing and maintenance costs of $3,902, which was
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derived by calculating the personnel and overhead costs to EOIR for processing the form.

15. Reasons for Change in Burden - The burden decreased due to a decrease in the number of
submissions received over the past three years.

16. Plans for Publication - EOIR does not intend to employ the use of statistics or the publication
thereof for this collection of information.

17. Exceptions to the Certification Statement - EOIR does not request an exception to the
certification of this information collection.

Part B. Collection of Information Employing Statistical Methods
This collection does not employ statistical methods.

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PAPERWORK CERTIFICATION

In submitting this request for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval, I certify that
the requirements of the Privacy Act and OMB directives have been complied with, including
paperwork regulations, any applicable statistical standards or directives, and any other
information policy directives promulgated under 5 C.F.R. § 1320.

signed by
CHRISTINA Digitally
CHRISTINA BAPTISTA
2021.04.22
BAPTISTA Date:
10:30:38 -04'00'
_____________________

4/22/2021
__________________
Date

Christina Baptista
Senior Counsel for Immigration
Office of the General Counsel
Executive Office for Immigration Review

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File Typeapplication/pdf
AuthorFinkel, Dina (EOIR)
File Modified2021-04-22
File Created2021-04-22

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