Here is a true story that can happen from time to time. Client send his case to USCIS via DHL, the case never reaches USCIS as DHL loose the package. Client re files the case using FEDEX, and cancels the first check. Fedex package reaches USCIS and a case is created. A week later the first package is finally delivered, but the check is canceled. USCIS issue a request for the funds via a collection notice. What is a client to do? Pay the money first and later ask for a refund. Yes, that is the current policy.
But how do you actually ask for a refund from USCIS?
The memo from Acting Director Scharfen states that clarifications were made and the USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual was updated in March 2008. This update instructs applicants or petitioners either to make their requests by calling the USCIS customer service line or writing the office that has jurisdiction over the application or petition in question. If this request is approved, the USCIS (and not the applicant or petitioner) will complete the Request for Refund of Fee (Form G-266).
The USCIS does not assign receipt numbers to refund requests, but these may be tracked by contacting the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC). The NCSC, in turn, will submit a service request to a local field office or service center, asking for a status update on the refund request. A response should be received by the applicant or petitioner within thirty days. In practice, clients tend to wait much longer. I hope the refund policy in just cases can be improved further.