How Much Does It Cost To Apply For U.S. Citizenship?
To become a U.S. citizen, there are certain processing fees and immigration forms that should be submitted depending on your eligibility category. This article will inform you of all the necessary fees required for the citizenship application. The article will further reveal the individuals required to pay such fees, where they are required to pay, and how to pay these filing fees.
How Much Will It Cost To Become A U.S. Citizen?
As of February 2021, the total application fee for naturalization is $725. This fee consists of the processing fee of $640 and the biometrics fee of $85. The USCIS does not refund these filing fees regardless of the outcome of the naturalization application. However, there is a provision for fee waivers for some eligible applicants.
Read more: Naturalization Explained
A Breakdown Of The Fees Required To Submit Application For Naturalization
All applicants are required to pay all the necessary application fees. However, there are a few exemptions. Applicants eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship due to their U.S. Military service are exempted from all these fees. Applicants above the age of 75 are exempted from the biometrics fees but must pay for all the other government fees required in the application process. As mentioned earlier, some applicants are eligible for a fee waiver.
How Much Does It Cost To File Form N-400?
Filing Form N-400 is free; however, there are two separate fees required by the U.S. government for the application of naturalization. They include the processing fees of $640 and an additional $85 for the biometrics appointment. Here is a detailed explanation of what each type of applicant is required to pay:
A Green Card Holder
This applicant will be required to pay $725 for their application whether they have special circumstances or not. If the applicant cannot afford these fees, they can apply for a fee reduction. The fee reduction only applies to the processing fees. The applicant is still required to pay the full biometric services fee.
Eligibility For A Fee Reduction As A Green Card Holder Without Any Special Circumstance
Applicants must meet some Federal Poverty Guidelines to be eligible for fee reductions. The applicant’s annual household income must be between 150% to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
For residents of the 48 contiguous States and U.S. Territories, the annual income should be between $19,410 to $25,520 for one household member. The amount increases by $6,720 with every additional household member.
For residents of Hawai, the household income should range between $22,020 to $ 29,360 for one household member. The amount increases by $7,725 for every additional household member.
Residents of Alaska have a higher amount of household income requirement due to their high standards of living. The household income ranges between $ 23,925 to $ 31,900; the fee increases by $8,400 for every additional household member.
How To Request For Citizenship Fees Reduction
If the applicant is eligible for a fee reduction, they must file Form I-942 Request For Reduced Fee. The USCIS will allow the applicant to pay $320 instead of $640 for the naturalization processing fee. The biometrics fee remains the same at $85. Therefore, the applicant will be required to pay a total amount of $405 after a fee reduction.
Eligibility For A Fee Waiver As A Green Card Holder Without Any Special Circumstances
An applicant is eligible for a fee waiver if they can prove that their household income requirements as stipulated by the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines are below 150%. They can request a waiver of both the naturalization fee and the biometrics.
How To Request For A Fee Waiver
An applicant must file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, to the USCIS. This form must be attached with the form in which the applicant is requesting a waiver of fees. This application must also include supporting documents to prove that the applicant cannot afford the required fees. If the application is approved, the applicant will not be required to pay any application fees.
Green Card Holder Of 75 Years Of Age And Above
This group of people is exempted from the $85 biometric fee. If the applicant does not need a reduction of fees, they will be required to pay a total of $640 for their naturalization processing fee. If the applicant in this category applies for a reduction of fees, they will pay $320 only.
How Much Does It Cost To Apply For Naturalization Based On Military Service?
If an applicant is on active duty in the U.S. Military or is a veteran, the U.S. government does not require them to pay for any applicable fees or the biometrics fees.
There are different payment Methods that the USCIS allows when processing the fees. Payment methods may vary depending on whether the applicant lives in the United States or abroad. The USCIS does not accept cash payments attached to the citizenship applications submitted
Immigrants Living In The United States
The applicants in the U.S. have two methods of payment. Payment can be processed online if the application was also filed and submitted online.
If the application was sent through the mail, the applicant must process the payments in some selected money transfer services and attach a copy of the receipt with the application. These money transfer services are:
- Money order
- Checks (personal or cashier checks)
- Credit Cards issued by a US-based Bank. Examples are MasterCard, Discover, and American Express
- An applicant who plans to use their credit card must file Form G-1450, Authorization For Credit Card Transactions.
Given that citizenship application fees, including other fees, are subject to change without notice, the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services provides a Fee Calculator tool on their website. This tool provides the most updated filing fees for different types of forms.
If you are the applicant, you can look up the filing fees for any type of USCIS form by providing the name of the form in the tool, and clicking on the Submit button.
Choosing A Payment Method To Pay The Citizenship Application Fee
All payments must be done through the same method. An applicant must choose the same payment method for both the biometrics fees and the application processing fees.
If you are filing for different family members, you must select one payment method for all the applications submitted.
The payments made must be in the exact amounts requested by the USCIS. The applicant must not exceed or make an underpayment of the fees. If the submitted payment does not meet the required amount, the USCIS will reject the application, and the applicant will have to resubmit.
Payments made through money order, personal checks, or cashier’s checks must mention The Department of Homeland Security as the payee. The name should not be abbreviated or shortened
Applicants using a credit card must ensure that they file Form G-1450 and attach it with the N-400 form.
For Applicants Living Abroad
Applicants making payment through money order, personal checks, or cashier checks must inquire from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for specific payment instructions. Officials at the U.S. embassy or Consulate will advise you on whether you can file your application online, or through any other approved means.
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