Quick guide for the application fee to become a US citizen
There are multiple ways through which you can obtain US citizenship, but choosing to apply for US citizenship through naturalization is one of the convenient methods. Application fees to request US citizenship through naturalization costs $725. In contrast, several applicants do not need to pay these fees for the naturalization application. To get further details about the cost of US citizenship application by Naturalization. Continue to read.
Suppose you are willing to sponsor your spouse, then you can refer to the green card guide to get a complete process of how to apply for a Marriage Green Card
What is the application fee for obtaining Citizenship by Naturalization?
After 14 October 2020, the present fees of becoming a United States citizen are $725. This includes $640 for processing the application form N-400, Application for Naturalization, and $85 for biometric fees. Both processing and biometric fees are non-refundable no matter USCIS approves your application or denies it.
If you are cannot afford to pay a $725 fee, you can request USCIS for a fee reduction or fee waiver. You can get further information related to a fee waiver or fee reduction by referring to the guide of documents required to apply for US citizenship by naturalization.
As said in the Trump administration’s final rule, these fees are going to increase adequately after October 2020. However, federal judges stop the increase in the application fees, but it will surely increase in the future. The reason behind the increase in fees is to prevent the USCIS budget shortfall and revenue loss that occurred due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As said by the deputy director, new fees will help the USCIS continue the immigration process even during the coronavirus pandemic. The US citizenship fees will jump to $ 1170 in the future, and this will be the first time you cannot request to waive it or ask for the fee reduction. It is suggested for the low-income immigrant to quickly file citizenship application as soon as possible prior to these changes gets introduced.
After you have obtained US citizenship, you will be able to sponsor your family member to obtain a green card. You’ll get voting rights to vote in the American elections, and there will be no stress of renewing the status. So, if you are eligible to apply for US citizenship, then it a better time to apply for it before its fees get increased.
Before applying for US citizenship you must first apply for permanent resident status (USA Green card). In order to apply for a green card, you should definitely check our guide on some easy ways to get a USA green card.
What is Form N-400?
Form N- 400 is the application for US citizenship by Naturalization. Department of Homeland security (DHS) asks the lawful permanent residents to file the adjustment of status to submit the form to the US government, which is an essential element of the application for American citizenship. DACA and Asylum seekers applicants are not granted to submit this form.
You can learn more about application form N-400 by referring to our guide on how to apply for US citizenship by Naturalization.
How much do I need to pay to become a U.S. Citizen?
As mentioned in the current fees of the United States citizenship through Naturalization application is $725, including $640 for application processing and $85 for biometric fees (both fees cannot be refunded even after denial of application).
Moreover, some applicants do not require paying entire filing fees for the Naturalization process based on their background. Below mentioned are a summary of who require paying which fees while applying for US citizenship by naturalization:
- If you are applying as a regular applicant, you will be required to pay $640 for application filing and $85 for biometric fees.
- If you are applying for US citizenship as a regular applicant who has obtained the USCIS fee reduction, they will require paying the $320 as a filing fee and $85 for a biometric fee.
- An Applicant who has obtained the USCIS fee waive, they have to pay $0 as a filing fee and $0 for biometric fees.
- If you are a member of my veteran or active duty US military service, they will be required to pay a $0 filing fee and $0 for a biometric fee.
- If you are applying as a regular applicant but more than 75 years of age, you will be required to pay $640 as a filing fee and $0 as a biometric fee.
- If you are a regular applicant aged 75 years of age or more and has also obtained the USCIS fee reduction only required to pay $320 as a filing fee and $0 as a biometric fee
- At the age of 75 or older, if applicant has acquired the USCIS fee waiver; they do not have to any filling fee or biometric fee.
Always keep in mind that the $85 biometric fee and $640 for the application processing fee that you are paying are separate from all other legal fees. Suppose you are hiring a lawyer to help you in filling the US citizenship application, the fees demanded by lawyer will be separate fee and will not included in US citizenship application. This means the total of $725 is only for processing your application and for a biometric appointment. USCIS might increase the US Citizenship by Naturalization fee to $1170.
Also, the US government, after increasing the application fee, will not accept the request for the fee reduction or fee waiver for this application. Your US citizenship application becomes even more expensive when you take help from the lawyer as some lawyers may ask for more than $1500 to help you with your US citizenship application.
Translation of immigration documents in English is very important as USCIS considers the documents in the English language. So whenever you wish to get the translation of a document ensures to hire a public notary translation USA.
What are the ways for paying the citizenship application fees?
You can easily pay your US citizenship by Naturalization application fee through a credit card, money order, or check. Always remember that USCIS does not accept cash, so do not pay your application fee through cash. You need to submit your application fee during the time of filing your application form N-400.
Whenever you are paying your application fee, always ensure that you use only one payment method for both application processing and biometric fee. For example, suppose you are paying the filing fee through a credit card, then you have to pay your biometric fee also with the credit card. You cannot choose to pay your biometric fee through the check. This means the payment method for both the payment should be the same.
In case you are paying for multiple citizenship applications at the same time, then also you have to make sure that you are using the same payment method for all the citizenship applications. If you are filing the application for your parents and spouse, you have to follow the same payment method for both the filing applications.
Always ensure that you are paying the exact due amount as asked by the USCIS. If you pay less or more than the asked amount, then USCIS will deny your application.
The way of paying your filling and biometrics fees is based on where you are applying for the application, either from inside or outside the United States.
How should you pay the application fee if you are inside the United States?
If you are applying for US citizenship by Naturalization from inside the United States and up to file the application form N-400 online, then you can proceed to pay the required amount in your USCIS online account.
If you opt to file the application form N- 400 via mail, you can choose to pay the application fee through a credit card, a check, or a money order. If you are making the payment through check, then you will need to issue the check-in the favor of “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
You are required to make any check or money order in favor of the US Department of Homeland security and ensure not to right it in shortened forms like “DHS”, “USDHS”, or any other short-form like this. If you make any single mistake, while writing the US Department of Homeland security on your money order or check, USCIS will not consider your payment and will not process your application till you do not clear your payment correctly.
If you are willing to pay your application fee through the credit card; then, you will require to file the application form G-1450, authorization for a credit card transaction, and submitted along with your US citizenship application form N- 400.
How should you pay the application fee if you live outside of the United States?
If you are willing to submit the US citizenship application form from outside the United States, then you will require paying the application fees through money order, personal check, or cashier’s check. In order to check where you need to send your payment, you must reach out to the local US embassy or consulate.
If you are willing to file the application form N-400 online, you need to make the required payment in your USCIS online account. In order to pay the application fee through credit card, you will need to complete and submit the application form G-1450, authorization to credit card transaction, and submit it along with your citizenship application form N-400.
What if I can’t afford the citizenship application fees?
Though United States citizenship through Naturalization has many immigration benefits, obtaining citizenship through Naturalization might be costly. Don’t stress. You can do several other things if you cannot afford the application fee for US citizenship by Naturalization.
- Apply for a fee waiver
In case you are a lower-income applicant and cannot afford the US citizenship application fee, then opting for a fee waiver from USCIS is an ideal option for you. If you get approved for the USCIS fee waiver, you can apply for US citizenship without paying any application fee.
- Ask organizations for help with your filing fees.
If you are a part of any church or faith group, you can also ask them if they are ready to help you in paying your US citizenship application fee. There are several government-funded groups that are happy to support the immigrant in filing their application fee. You can get the complete list of the government-funded organization by visiting the USCIS official website.
- Pay your filing fees with a credit card.
If currently you do not have sufficient money to pay your US citizenship application fee, but you get the money in the future, then you can consider paying the Application fee through a credit card. In order to do this, the only thing you have to do is to file the application form G-1450, authorization for a credit card transaction, and submit the completed form along with your N-400 form application for Naturalization.
- Prepare your forms without a lawyer to save on legal fees.
However, filing the citizenship application form is quite easy, and you can fill the form without the lawyer’s help. So you should prepare your form without the help of lawyers as it saves your money on legal fees.
We hope this guide related to the cost of requesting for US citizenship application is helpful for you. No doubt, for some people applying for US Citizenship application might be complicated, but hiring a good immigration lawyer can make your work easier.
If you wish to visit the United States as a visitor then choosing to apply for a Non-immigrant visa USCIS is a perfect choice.