Costs of Becoming a US Citizen
As of this writing, it costs $725 for most people to go through the naturalization process. This may not be what you end up paying because the costs may change (check USCIS for updates), or you may be eligible to waive the fees. If you want to be doubly sure that you can afford to become a United States citizen, you should ask our experienced Princeton immigration lawyer from Inderjit K. Sidhu Esq. LLC.
In this article, we will talk about:
- How the fees are broken down
- Exceptions to the filing fees
- How can you waive some of the costs
- Miscellaneous costs
If you need help with any citizenship-related issue, you can count on us to help you! Call our Princeton immigration law firm today to schedule a free 15-minute consultation!
How are the fees broken down?
The $725 total comprises two factors: the Form N-400 application fee ($640) and the biometrics service fee ($85).
Extra fees are associated with filing for naturalization, such as the expense of engaging a professional to assist you. The expense of employing an immigration lawyer is typically justified. Any application mistake delays the time you become an American citizen. Worse, you may need to restart everything, causing you to pay the fees again.
Am I Exempted from the Filing Fee?
Not everyone has to pay the costs of citizenship. Certain groups of people are exempted from paying one or both of the fees.
If your citizenship application is under the military service category, you don’t have to pay both fees. Naturalization is essentially free!
Citizenship applicants over 75 do not need to pay the biometrics fee.
If you don’t know how to go about your application, you can always ask our knowledgeable New Jersey immigration attorney. Call our law office today to schedule a consultation!
What are Fee Waivers?
USCIS allows some individuals to waive their fees, meaning they don’t need to pay to become US citizens. After all, it isn’t easy to use hundreds of dollars for a citizenship application.
You only need to prove one of the following to qualify for a fee waiver.
- Low household income: If your household income is equal to or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guideline, you may qualify for a fee waiver.
- Means-tested government benefits: A means-tested benefit refers to government assistance provided to you because of your financial need. Some examples include Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- A relevant reason regarding your financial situation: There may be a valid reason that makes you unable to pay the fees. Some examples include emergency medical expenses or unemployment.
If your household income exceeds the poverty guidelines, you may qualify for a partial fee reduction. This includes people who make more than 150% of the guideline but not over double the amount.
If you want to check whether you meet the eligibility requirement for a fee waiver, you can ask our reliable Princeton immigration lawyer for sound legal advice.
Are There Other Things I Have to Consider?
While we already talked about the official expenses, there are hidden costs that you may need to consider in your journey to become a naturalized US citizen.
The price of fuel is pretty high. You need to consider the distance to the nearest USCIS office, travel to the biometrics appointment, and the citizenship interview.
There are also time considerations that can be affected by your job. USCIS is only open during certain hours on the weekdays, so you may need to take some time off work to process the naturalization application.
Not all personal documents require you to spend money. However, there are certain entities that can charge you if you request a copy of the documents you need.
If you want to hire an immigration attorney for your American citizenship application, you also have to consider how much this affects your budget.
You may be tempted to skip the attorneys entirely. Or you may think you can just pay someone who’s not a lawyer to help you at a cheaper rate. However, consider how much it would cost if you made a mistake. Applications are notoriously long, not to mention the fees you must pay. One mistake means starting the naturalization process again.
Call our Princeton Immigration Attorney Now!
To improve their lives and those of their families, many immigrants come to the Land of Opportunity. Any immigration worries you may have can be addressed by our immigration lawyer at Inderjit K. Sidhu Esq. LLC.
What are you waiting for? If you want passionate representation and knowledgeable counsel, call our Princeton immigration law office today to schedule a consultation!
You can ask us any immigration questions. Do you want to have a green card as a lawful permanent resident? Are you nervous about the naturalization test? Consult with our experienced immigration attorneys today!