With all the paperwork involved in the immigration process, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) moved to increase convenience earlier this fall with the acceptance of credit card payments. In September, immigrants applying for naturalized citizenship with Form N-400, Application for Naturalization can pay the $680 cost—the combined fee for the application and biometrics—with a number of major credit cards.
The N-400 application is the only form for which credit cards are accepted. Acceptable credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. USCIS allows each of these, whether they’re the traditional cards issued by banks or a gift card with one of the brand’s logo that can be purchased in a retail checkout line.
Because the credit card convenience involves USCIS application filing, of course, taking advantage of the payment option requires a form—G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transaction. Additionally, only one credit card or gift card can be used in the transaction, and it must cover the entire fee. USCIS rejects all applications associated with declined cards.
It’s worth noting that the G-1450 used to pay fees with a credit card must include the signature of the credit card account holder. USCIS doesn’t require the credit card owner and the naturalization applicant to be the same person.
In cases involving the use of a credit card for multiple or combined applications USCIS requires submission of a separate Form G-1450 for each. As is the case with a single application, multiple and combined application fee payments made with a credit card must as well cover the full transaction fees.
USCIS also instructs users of the credit card payment method to destroy Form G-1450, which carries the credit card billing information. This, the agency advises, is critical whether the application is accepted or rejected.
In an e-mail correspondence with USCIS media relations, an official makes the point the credit card feature has been added as an enhancement to USCIS services and is the result of recommendations coming out of the White House Task Force on New Americans. The strategic action plan developed by the task force, co-chaired by Cecil Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Leon Rodriguez, USCIS director, is laid out in “Strengthening Communities by Welcoming All Residents.”