Find Out the Price of Applying for Citizenship in America
A better life for oneself and one's children is every person's dream. The United States can make this dream possible for a vast number of people who seek to move there every year.
The country offers boundless opportunities and the immense scope of fulfilling a person's dreams. However, some people may not know the true costs of immigrating to the United States. So, how much does moving to the U.S. cost?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) process applications and requests for migration to the country.
Currently, you have to pay a non- refundable fee of $725 to the government, including $640 for application processing, and $85 for biometric services. However, there is the option of reducing the above fees or waiving them entirely. The conditions include:
- You or a qualified member of your household receive a means-tested benefit. This kind of benefit includes certain financial impetus, the eligibility of which is calculated through either the individual's income or the benefit amount.
- The total income of your household at the time of filing the form should be equal to or below 150% of the poverty level. The current rate of poverty levels can be gauged through Form I- 912P.
- You have undergone a recent emergency financial difficulty, which renders you incapable of paying the citizenship costs in full- for example, a medical emergency or a sudden and unforeseen expense.
Exceptions to the Fees
- A number of individuals applying for citizenship to the United States are completely exempt from paying the costs of citizenship, covered under the form N-400.
- Individuals the age of 75 and above do not have to pay the cost for biometric testing, hence their costs are waived down to $640 only.
- Applications from people who have served in the military, under Section 328 or Section 329 of the INA, are exempt from paying any kind of citizenship costs, whether it be processing fees or the biometric test. In addition to this, no filing fee is required from individuals who have served in the military as well.
Ways to Pay
There are a number of ways that you can pay for the citizenship costs in the U.S., whether it be online or offline. If the N-400 form is filled online on the USCIS website, then you can also pay the costs online. However, other methods for payment of the citizenship costs include:
- Money Order
- Cashier’s check
- Personal check
- Credit card, using Form G- 1450.
Things to remember:
- Only one way of payment can be used, whether you are paying just for yourself or for other members of your household as well. Mixing up the ways to pay will get your application rejected instantly.
- All the payment needs to be done in exact amounts, otherwise, the application will be declared null, and the payment will be returned to you. You will have to resubmit all your documents again, with the correct payment amount.
- If the payment is being done by money order, make sure to not use any abbreviations. Explicitly state the "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" as the payee, otherwise, your payment may be rejected, or worse, fall into the wrong hands.
- If the payment is being done by credit card, make sure to fill out Form G- 1450, and before submitting, place it on top of Form N- 400.
If you have been living abroad at the time of filling out the Form N- 400, be sure to contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in your area before payment, as different regions of the world may have different regulations.
Citizenship Tests in the United States