Find out the United States citizenship application fee
If you're reading this, you're probably interested in becoming a naturalized US citizen. Becoming a naturalized US citizen is a long and arduous process, but it's worth it to be able to live and work in the United States legally.
In this blog post, we'll walk you through the process of finding out how much you have to pay for the citizenship application fee. We'll also provide some tips on how to save money on the application fee.
So whether you're just starting to research the citizenship process or you're ready to file your application, read on to find out everything you need to know about the citizenship application fee.
How much does a US citizenship application fee cost?
Application costs to the government are standard unless you meet certain criteria for a fee waiver. You'll almost certainly need to engage with someone who can help you through the procedure, which may add to the expense. But have no fear. We recognize that you may have legitimate cost worries and are here to assist you.
Citizenship applications usually cost $725. This price takes into account the application charge of $640 for Form N-400 as well as the fee of $85 for your biometrics session. During the biometrics appointment, you are fingerprinted, photographed, and your signature is obtained for the application process. However, you also have to consider the cost of working with an immigration lawyer throughout the process.
What is Form N-400?
Form N-400 is an application for naturalization. It's used by people who want to become US citizens. The form is available on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
To become a US citizen, you must first be a permanent resident (Green Card holder). You must also meet other requirements, such as being 18 years of age or older, reading, writing, and speaking basic English, and having a basic understanding of US history and government.
If you meet all the requirements, you can file Form N-400. USCIS will then review your application and schedule an interview. If you pass the interview, you'll be scheduled for a citizenship ceremony, where you'll take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
So, what is Form N-400? It's the first step to becoming a US citizen!
How do I Pay?
You may submit your application fee payment through a credit card, debit card, money order, or the more conventional cheque or money order. Although USCIS does not take online payments, you can use a credit or debit card to submit payment by mail by submitting Form G-1450.
What is Form G-1450?
"Authorization for Credit Card Transactions" (Form G-1450) is the document you need to fill out in order to use a credit card for a purchase. Please use this form to submit your application fee through a credit card.
Payments may be made using Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit cards and debit cards at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is part of the DHS of the United States government.
In addition to personal checks and money orders, USCIS also accepts gift cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover for fee payments.
You'll need your name, address, email address, phone number, and credit card number to complete Form G-1450. You also need to ensure that there are adequate funds on the credit or debit card you use until your application is processed. The USCIS will not process your application if the credit card you submitted declines the payment. If that happens, your application will be sent back without being reviewed.
Is there any possibility of reducing my fees?
If you have a significantly low income, you may indeed be able to apply for naturalization for free or at a reduced charge of $405 if you qualify. In order to qualify, you will need to submit what is known as a "fee waiver" application. There are two types of fee waivers: partial fee waivers and full fee waivers, with each requiring a distinct application form.
Partial fee waiver
If your annual family income is 150%-200% below the federal poverty threshold, you may be eligible to submit a Request for Reduced Fees. This equates to anywhere between $38,000 and $52,000 annually for a family of four. Instead of the entire $725 filing charge, you will pay a reduced filing fee of $405 if your application is successful. If you are 75 or over, you will be required to pay $320 for your application.
To apply for a partial waiver of the citizenship application fee, you must:
- Check to see whether your family income is inside the requirements.
- Complete the I-942 form.
- You must present last year's tax return to establish your income for the previous year. If you don't have it, you may alternatively provide all of your paycheck stubs and/or a letter from your present job detailing your earnings. The household size and filing status on your tax return must match what you submit on your I-942 form.
- Attach copies of these papers, as well as a check for $405 if you are under 75, or $320 if you are over 75, to your completed I-942 form.
- Submit the I-942 form, together with any attachments, with your N-400 application for citizenship.
- If your fee waiver request is accepted, USCIS will send you a receipt confirmation letter within 1-2 months.
- If your fee waiver request is refused, USCIS will send you a refusal letter and your paperwork will be returned. The USCIS will not cash your cheque; instead, it will be returned to you. You may resubmit your application for a fee waiver after making the necessary changes. You may also resubmit your application with the full $725 filing cost ($640 if you are above the age of 75).
Full fee waiver
A full fee waiver means that you don't have to pay the full fees associated with your naturalization application. You may be required to pay a few different fees, including the application fee, biometrics fee, and processing fee. You won't have to pay any of these fees if granted a full fee waiver.
The full fee waiver for naturalization applicants is available to those who meet certain criteria. The main criterion is that the applicant must be unable to pay the filing fee for naturalization due to financial hardship. Other criteria include being on active duty in the armed forces, being a member of the armed forces reserves, or having been honorably discharged from the armed forces.
How Long Does It Take To Get US Citizenship?
The process of becoming a US citizen can be a long and complicated one, but it's definitely worth it in the end. There are a few different ways to become a citizen, but the most common is through naturalization.
In order to be eligible for naturalization, you must first be a permanent resident of the United States through a green card. Once you've lived as a green card holder for at least three to five years, you are now eligible to apply for citizenship.
The actual process of becoming a US citizen can take anywhere from several months to a few years. It all depends on how long it takes for your application to be processed. Once you've been approved for citizenship, you'll need to take a citizenship test and attend a naturalization ceremony. After doing all that, you'll finally be a US citizen!
So, how long does it really take to become a US citizen? It all depends on your individual situation, but the process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. It's a long journey, but it's definitely worth it in the end.
What Do I Need To Remember Before I Pay My Citizenship Fees?
If you're planning on becoming a US citizen, there are a few things you'll need to remember before paying your citizenship fees. First, you'll need to make sure you're eligible for citizenship. To do this, you'll need to have been a green card holder for at least three to five years (or three years if you're married to a US citizen). You'll also need to have lived in your current state or USCIS district for at least three months.
Once you've established that you're eligible for citizenship, you'll need to gather the required documents. These include a completed citizenship application (Form N-400), two passport-style photos, your green card, and any other required documents specified by USCIS. You'll also need to pay the citizenship application fee, which is currently $725.
When you have everything in order, you can submit your citizenship application to USCIS. The current processing time for citizenship applications is around eight months, so you'll need to be patient. However, this can vary depending on individual application.
If your application is approved, you'll be scheduled for a citizenship ceremony, where you'll take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. Once you've taken the Oath, you'll be officially a US citizen! To ascertain this, you'll receive a naturalization certificate of citizenship as proof of your new status.
What If I Can't Afford The Fees?
Naturalized Naturalization is a pathway to numerous immigration advantages for citizens, but it comes at a price. However, you shouldn't worry about it since you can do a few different things to assist you in financing the filing expenses for your application for citizenship. For some inspiration, here are a few examples of what to do if you can't afford it.
Submit a Fee Waiver Request
You can be eligible for a fee waiver from the USCIS if you have an income that is below a certain threshold. If your request for a fee waiver from the USCIS is successful, you can either pay a discounted fee or won't have to pay any money to submit your application.
Seek Assistance from Organizations with Your Filing Expenses
Asking your church or other religious organization for financial aid is a viable option if you are struggling to cover the costs of citizenship application. Many people are eager to provide a hand. In addition, the government funds a variety of non-profits that offer financial aid to immigrants. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services website has a comprehensive directory of immigrant aid groups.
Get Financial Aid from Loved Ones to Cover the Cost
The people closest to you will see firsthand how immigration changes your life. It would be great if they could afford to help you out with the filing expenses.
Crowdfund Your Application Expenses
Websites that facilitate crowdfunding are rising in popularity, and for good reason. Though it may be uncomfortable at first, numerous immigrants have found success by using crowdfunding to pay for their applications. Crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe allow you to launch your campaign at no cost. The campaign provides a forum for telling your immigrant story to those you know and to others you don't know yet.
Use a Credit Card To Pay The Required Filing Fee
If you don't have the cash on hand to pay the filing fee right now but anticipate that you will have it soon, you may choose to put the payment against a credit card. Simply include a completed Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, with the remainder of your application.
Collaborate with a Legal Aid office
Contacting a Legal Aid office will help you determine whether you qualify for reduced or free legal representation while filling out your application. Legal aid organizations staff experienced immigration attorneys who will represent low-income immigrants for free or at a much-reduced rate.
Prepare Your Own Paperwork to Save Legal Expenses
It is feasible to complete your immigration paperwork without the assistance of an attorney, despite the fact that doing so may seem overwhelming. This saves you considerable money that could have gone to outsourced legal services. However, you must consider the opportunity cost of hiring a lawyer by comparing the benefits you get from working with one.
Becoming a US citizen can be a long and complicated process, but it's definitely worth it in the end. The first step is to make sure you're eligible for citizenship. Once you've established that you're eligible, you'll need to gather the required documents and pay the citizenship application fee.
When you have everything in order, you can submit your citizenship application to USCIS. The current processing time for citizenship applications is around eight months, but this can vary depending on individual application.
If you can't afford the citizenship application fee, don't worry! There are a few different things you can do to finance the cost, such as submitting a fee waiver request or seeking assistance from organizations that provide financial aid to immigrants. Once you've taken care of the fees, you'll be one step closer to becoming a US citizen!
UpCounsel can assist you in your pursuit of US citizenship via the naturalization process. Our aim is to help you save costs and time spent on immigration matters. We are aware of how challenging it may be to navigate the immigration laws of the United States in order to apply for citizenship. That's why we work hard to ease your burden by being by your side throughout the process.
To assist you speed up your immigration case, UpCounsel connects you with a team of expert attorneys. For additional details, please get in touch with us right away.