In this article, you can learn about the current cost of a U.S. citizenship application, the proposed future cost of citizenship application, ways to pay the filing fees, and also what to do if you can’t afford the filing fees. To learn more about naturalization check our detailed guide to U.S. citizenship through naturalization.
How much does it cost to apply for U.S. citizenship?
The current filing fee to apply for U.S. citizenship is $725.
This includes $640 for the Form N-400(Application for Naturalization) processing fee and $85 for the biometrics fee. This filing fee is non-refundable regardless of USCIS accepting or rejecting your application.
Not everybody who applies for citizenship is required to pay the above filing fees. Based on your immigration status and age the filing fee changes.
If you are applying for U.S. Citizenship through your military service you are exempt from both the application filing fees and the biometrics fee.
If you are aged 75 or older then you are exempt from the biometrics fee.
In some cases, you might be eligible for a fee waiver or reduction based on your income. More on this later in the article.
Did you know?
Immigration Direct provides form preparation services for U.S. citizenship applications and other immigration applications online. It has helped more than 600,000 immigrants with their immigration applications. If you are looking to prepare your U.S. citizenship application take a look at our Form N-400 preparation service.
Future Cost of U.S. Citizenship
The USCIS which processes your citizenship application and many other applications is run entirely by collecting fees for each immigration application.
So once in a while, the form filing fees are increased. In 2020 USCIS proposed to increase the filing fee for U.S. citizenship application Form N-400 from the current $640 to $1170. Right before the fee increase was about to go live a federal judge blocked the fee increase.
So currently the filing fees have not increased. But it is expected to go up once this situation is sorted out. Will it increase to the proposed amount or a little lesser amount? We don’t know. But we know for sure that there will be a fee increase in the near future.
If you have been holding out on applying for U.S. citizenship because of the filing fees then don’t wait any longer. Apply for U.S. citizenship as soon as possible. Also, do consider using our service to prepare your application.
What are the ways to pay for U.S. citizenship?
For applicants in the United States
If applying for citizenship with the paper application through mail then you may pay the filing fees using the following options.
- Money Order
- Personal Check
- Cashier’s Check
- Or Credit Card( By filing Form G-1450 along with your application)
If applying for citizenship through the online application on the USCIS site you may pay for the fees online.
For applicants outside of the United States
If you are applying for citizenship from another country you need to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for payment instructions.
Fee Waiver or Fee Reduction
As mentioned before there is a possibility that you can get your entire application fees waived or reduce the fees. The eligibility requirements for a fee waiver or reduced fee varies.
Note: Fee waiver and reduced fee are not the same.
A simplified version of the eligibility requirement for a fee waiver is satisfying at least one of the following :
- Your annual household income is less than or equal to 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.
- You or your spouse or the head of the household living with you is receiving a means-tested benefit.
- You are going through a financial hardship like incurring medical expenses of family members, unemployment, eviction, homelessness, and more.
For a fee reduction, the eligibility requirement is
- Your annual household income is more than 150% but less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines at the time of filing your application.
For detailed eligibility requirements check this article.
You cannot apply for a fee reduction or a fee waiver after filing Form N-400. It should be applied along with your citizenship application.
Form I-912 is used to request a fee waiver and Form I-942 is used to request a fee reduction.
Immigration Direct has been helping hundreds of thousands of immigrants prepare their immigration applications for over a decade. Check how we can help you with your application.