cost to become a US citizen

What Is The Cost To Become A US Citizen

(Last Updated On: April 9, 2024)

You have just decided to apply for US citizenship and are wondering what the cost to become a US citizen is. Certified Translation is here to give this really important information on this blog!

US Citizenship:

US citizenship means being a member of the United States. It gives you special rights, like voting and running for office. You also have duties, like paying taxes and serving on juries. You can become a citizen if you were born in the US or go through a process called naturalization. This process includes learning about US history and government and passing a test. Once you become a citizen, you belong to the US and can enjoy all the benefits and responsibilities that come with it.

To obtain US citizenship, one typically follows these steps:

1. Determine eligibility through birth, naturalization, or other pathways.

2. Obtain permanent residency (green card) by qualifying through family, employment, refugee/asylee status, or other avenues.

3. Meet residency requirements, usually residing in the US for a certain period.

4. File Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, with USCIS, including required documentation and fees.

5. Attend biometrics appointments and interviews.

6. Pass English and civics tests.

7. Take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. Seek legal advice for complex cases or special circumstances.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers various processes, including the application for green card status, with consideration of previous fee rules and the beneficiary-pays principle. Interim benefits may be available to those in humanitarian categories, such as asylum seekers, while USCIS manages the processing of initial requests, including those from the City of Seattle. Applicants may utilize premium processing for expedited service, though shipping costs and additional fees apply. Individuals demonstrating extraordinary abilities or employment qualifications may pursue a green card through regional center investment programs, ultimately leading to permanent resident status in the United States.

What’s the cost to become a US citizen?

Becoming a US citizen includes government fees such as N-400 and citizenship fees, along with potential expenses for legal assistance and payment methods for visa services, all while considering income levels and tax returns as part of the citizenship fee waiver or payment instructions. Additionally, applicants may encounter fees for income tax returns or green card renewals, with detailed guides available for online filing and citizenship interviews, ensuring adequate service throughout the citizenship timeline, especially for green card holders seeking naturalized citizen status and dependent children accompanying the visa applicant.

Navigating the cost of becoming a US citizen involves understanding various fees, including the immigration benefit request fee and the Application for Travel Documents, which may incur additional costs like shipping fees. For those pursuing Citizenship by Investment, it’s essential to consider the ability-to-pay principle and the current fee structure, including Premium processing funds. Immigrants should assess their household income and household size while ensuring moral character and adhering to immigration law. Seeking guidance from an immigration attorney can help individuals evaluate their options and prepare for potential costs associated with the process, such as the Asylum Program Fee.

The cost of becoming a US citizen extends beyond direct fees to encompass various indirect costs, such as shipping fees for documents and operational requirements like biometric services fees. Individuals navigating the green card application process may encounter additional expenses related to ancillary forms and completion rates affecting overall investment requirements. For those pursuing citizenship, ancillary forms like Form I-485 and Form I-90, along with associated fees, can significantly impact their ability to pay. It’s important to consider the ability-to-pay principles and tax resident status when evaluating the financial implications of citizenship, especially in humanitarian categories and interim benefits provided by the Department of Homeland Security.

We have gathered the following points to help you understand the basic fee structure a regular applier must follow.

become US citizen cost

How much do I have to pay?

To determine the cost of US citizenship, one must consider various fees associated with the application process, including the immigration benefit request fee and any additional costs incurred for forms like Form I-912. The current fee structure outlines expenses for different services, with some applicants qualifying for a 3-percent discount rate. Individuals with extraordinary abilities or those investing through programs like the EB-5 program may navigate the passport by investment route, while others may require immigrant petitions for alien workers or fulfill employment requirements, such as creating 10 full-time jobs, to pursue American citizenship.

  • The filing fee for Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization, is $725 in 2018. This breaks down as citizenship fees of $640 and background check fees of $85. The background check fee is also called the biometrics fee.
  • The biometrics fee does not apply to individuals older than seventy-five years old. The military applicant does not have to pay any fee for the N-400 Application for Naturalization form under Sections 328 and 329 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA).
  • Because many viable candidates for naturalization cannot afford to pay the fee of $725 in one go, the USCIS has permitted applicants to pay the fees through their credit cards.

Wait, there is more

  • The individuals who want to pay using their credit cards should submit Form G- 1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transaction. The payers who want to pay the cost to become US citizen, upfront can use the money order, personal check, and cashier’s check.
  • Fees Waivers are also made available by USCIS for individuals who are not able to pay the naturalization fees. You are to fill the I-192 form, Request for Fee Waiver with your U.S. citizenship applications if you are interested in utilizing this option. You are also allowed to submit a written request for waiver.
  • All individuals who are eligible for TANF, SSI, LINK or Medicaid or the families under 150% level of federal poverty are also eligible for fee waiver.
how much do I need to pay

USCIS Fees Policy

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires an application fee for the naturalization process, but individuals facing financial hardships may submit Form I-912 for a fee waiver request. This waiver can help lower-income applicants cover the citizenship application fee, facilitating their immigration process toward obtaining American citizenship without the burden of immigration fees. It’s essential to understand the USCIS fees policy, including the minimum investment required for visa categories, and how it may impact access to public benefits and permanent residence status.

The USCIS Fees Policy outlines the costs associated with various services, including N-400 fees for initial applications and processing times for citizenship requirements. Visa requirements and residency status are crucial factors, alongside legal proceedings and security checks, ensuring a smooth transition to American citizenship for those with dual citizenship aspirations. Additionally, the policy addresses medical bills and income considerations, offering legal assistance to navigate denials or issues related to criminal records, all while emphasizing the importance of English language proficiency and honorable service for current citizenship.

The USCIS Fees Policy outlines various fees associated with immigration processes, including the naturalization application and citizenship application fees. Low-income immigrants may qualify for fee waivers based on household income and means-tested benefits eligibility. However, extra costs such as biometric services fees can still apply. Understanding fee waiver policies is crucial, especially for those participating in visa programs like the EB-5 program, where significant investments are required. Additionally, military service members and special immigrants may be eligible for reduced fees. USCIS’s fee structure, outlined in the Federal Register, ensures sufficient revenue to support immigration services while accommodating diverse fee payers’ needs.

It also outlines the costs associated with various services, including immigrant petitions for alien workers and visa categories, which can be paid using a debit card. Additionally, applicants may incur fees for forms like Form I-912 and Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and premium processing under certain circumstances. Understanding the USCIS Fees Policy is crucial for individuals submitting initial requests or seeking to adjust their immigration status through applications such as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Foreign language assistance is available for completing forms such as Form N-426.

Certified Translation has seen a common perception that the fee is a hindrance that keeps many eligible residents of the United States from becoming US citizens. However, the USCIS is a self-funded agency that draws capital from its applicants. Their process is helpful and designed to make things easier. Application filing fees make up almost ninety percent of their operating budget. They pay for their employees, computers, software, and all other procedural finances from this fee.

Fee Waiver

The fee waiver ensures that no eligible candidate feels left out. The system will ensure you have the option to apply. Even if you do not take the fee waiver form, you can submit a written application to present your case for a fee waiver! This is because the system welcomes new citizens and wants to make the cost of becoming a US citizen easy for the residents to become citizens. A fee waiver may be granted to a visa applicant who meets the U.S. Citizenship Requirements, including an annual income below the threshold and reliance on public benefits such as Social Security, enabling them to proceed with the Application for Citizenship without financial burden.

Individuals with limited financial means may qualify for a fee waiver when submitting their citizenship application, especially if their annual household income falls below the threshold and they rely on programs like food stamps. To request a fee waiver, applicants must demonstrate their inability to pay immigration fees due to their household size and financial circumstances. Meeting the moral character requirement is essential for the fee waiver request, particularly for those serving as the head of household. Fee waiver policies ensure that immigration fees, including those for the EB-5 Visa and other programs, do not burden low-income individuals.

Certified Translation is here to help you with all immigration documents you may need to translate. With us, you can have your translation for USCIS ready in 24 hours at the lowest price you can find in NYC. See us now!

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