There are many practical benefits of being a U.S. citizen – including the expense. The cost to become a U.S. citizen is less than to remain a green card holder. Permanent residents must renew their green card every 10 years and pay applicable fees. Once someone becomes a U.S. citizen, he or she will never have to apply for or renew permission to live or work in the United States. The cost to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization become a citizen changes as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fees change, but in 2020:
N-400 Application Fee
USCIS charges a non-refundable application fee of $640.
Biometric Services Fee
The required non-refundable biometrics fee is $85. Biometrics screening is to confirm your identity and may include:
• Digital signature
• Passport photos
A full FBI background check and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) database check of non-citizens who have an immigration violation (such as crossing the border illegally) will be conducted using your biometrics. If you have a criminal record, contact an immigration lawyer before going to a USCIS biometrics appointment.
Immigration Lawyer Fee
You are not required to hire a lawyer to file your citizenship application. United States immigration laws can be extraordinarily complicated. A small mistake on an N-400 application can lead to years of delays to citizenship and even outright denials and deportation. In some instances, an innocent mistake can lead to denaturalization (losing your citizenship) years after it was conferred. Your decision to hire an experienced immigration lawyer can save you time, money and stress – and make the difference between your citizenship application being denied or approved.
You can pay USCIS fees online or by check, money order, credit card, or debit card. You can make a single payment of $725 to cover both the N-400 Application fee and the biometrics fee.
• USCIS does not require naturalization applicants 75 years and older to pay biometrics fees. Applicants age 75 or older may submit a total payment of $640, or the current N-400 application fee.
• Applicants applying on the basis of military service (under section 328 or 329 of the INA) are exempt from both fees. No filing fee is required.
• USCIS offers a fee waiver for financial hardship to process immigration applications for qualified applicants.
The skilled immigration lawyers at Godoy Law Office can answer any questions about immigration and guide you through every step of the citizenship process. Call us today at 855-554-6369.