Naturalization Application Fees and Costs: What You Need to Know
The process of naturalizing as a United States citizen is a lengthy one, and it can be expensive too. Naturalization application fees and costs must be considered before beginning the process. This article will provide an overview of the naturalization application fees and costs, as well as helpful tips for managing them.
What Are the Naturalization Application Fees and Costs?
The naturalization application fees and costs vary depending on the individual’s age and circumstances. Generally, most applicants will need to pay an $725 filing fee to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is the main fee for processing the application, and it is not refundable regardless of the outcome of the application. There may also be additional costs for biometrics services (i.e., fingerprints) and fees for any required exams or tests. These fees can range from $85-$100 per individual.
In addition to these fees, naturalization application fees may also include attorney’s fees. Depending on how complex an individual’s case is, or if they need assistance navigating the naturalization process, they may require the services of an immigration lawyer or other legal professional. The cost of such services can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on their needs.
Tips for Managing Naturalization Application Fees and Costs
The total amount of naturalization application fees and costs can seem daunting at first, but there are ways to manage them. Here are some tips:
1. Seek out fee waivers: Low-income applicants may be eligible for a fee waiver from USCIS if they cannot pay the filing fee or any other associated costs. In some cases, USCIS will even waive additional costs like biometric services or exams. Applicants should review USCIS’s guidelines for filing a fee waiver carefully before submitting an application.
2. Plan ahead: Naturalization applications can take several months to process, so it’s important to factor in all associated costs when making a budget for the process. Doing so will help ensure that applicants have enough money set aside to cover all expenses when they are due.
3. Lower attorney’s fees: Working with an experienced attorney can greatly simplify the naturalization process and provide peace of mind that all paperwork is completed correctly. However, their services can be costly. To lower attorney’s fees, applicants should inquire about flat-fee services or other payment plans offered by their legal representative.
4. Take advantage of resources: There are many organizations that provide free or low-cost assistance with naturalization applications, including local libraries, universities, legal aid programs, and more. Taking advantage of these resources can help alleviate some of the financial burden associated with applying for citizenship.
The naturalization application fees and costs can seem overwhelming at first glance, but there are ways to manage them. By taking advantage of fee waivers, planning ahead financially, lowering attorney’s fees when possible, and taking advantage of free resources when available, applicants can make the process more manageable – both financially and emotionally – while ensuring that their applications are properly prepared and submitted in a timely manner.