How Much Does It Cost to Apply for U.S. Citizenship?


Understanding the naturalization fee, plus fee waivers and fee reductions


The current naturalization fee for a U.S. citizenship application is $725. That total includes $640 for application processing and $85 for biometrics services, both of which are nonrefundable, regardless of whether the U.S. government approves or rejects an application. Some applicants, however, can have these fees reduced or waived entirely.

In this guide, we’ll cover who is required to pay, how and where to submit payments, and what to do if you can’t afford the fees. To learn more about naturalization, check out our detailed guide to applying for U.S. citizenship.

Boundless makes it easy to complete your naturalization application by turning all the government requirements into simple questions you can easily answer online. Learn more, or get started now!


How Much to Pay


Not everyone must pay the full government fees for naturalization. Those applying for U.S. citizenship based on their military service are exempt from both the application filing fee and the biometrics fee. Applicants aged 75 and older are exempt from the biometrics fee only. Everyone else must pay both fees, unless eligible for an income-based fee waiver or reduction (see below).

Here’s a quick summary of the fees and who’s required to pay them:

Naturalization Fees
Applicant Type Special Circumstances Total Government Fees
Typical applicant No special circumstances $725
  With fee reduction $405
  With fee waiver $0
Applicant aged 75 or older No special circumstances $640
  With fee reduction $320
  With fee waiver $0
Active-duty military or veteran   $0

Boundless will print your entire citizenship application package and mail it to your doorstep, with clear instructions on how to sign and send it to the government. Learn more about what Boundless does, or start your application today.


Ways to Pay


FOR APPLICANTS LIVING IN THE UNITED STATES

If you submit the naturalization application (Form N-400) online through myUSCIS, then you may also pay the applicable fee(s) online.

If you submit a paper Form N-400 through the mail, you may pay the applicable fee(s) with one of the following options (do not send cash):

  • Money order
  • Personal check
  • Cashier’s check
  • Credit card (using Form G-1450, officially called the “Authorization for Credit Card Transactions”)

Important things to remember:

  • You must choose only one method of payment. In other words, you cannot pay the application filing fee using a money order but pay the biometrics fee using a personal check.
  • If you’re submitting more than one U.S. citizenship application (for multiple family members, for example), you must use the same method of payment for all of them.
  • All payments must be in exact amounts. Otherwise, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will reject your naturalization application and return your payment, both of which you’ll need to resubmit with the correct payment amount.
  • If you’re paying by money order, personal check, or cashier’s check, you must spell out “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” as the payee. Do not abbreviate the Department’s name as “USDHS” or “DHS.”
  • If you’re paying by credit card, make sure to complete all three sections of Form G-1450, sign the form, and place Form G-1450 on top of Form N-400.

FOR APPLICANTS LIVING ABROAD:

If paying by money order, personal check, or cashier’s check, you must contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in your area for specific payment instructions.

Boundless can help you respond to government questions and prepare for your citizenship interview. Learn more about what you get with Boundless, or start your application today.


Fee Reduction and Waiver


What if I can’t afford the fees?

If you can’t afford to pay your naturalization fee(s), you may apply for a fee reduction or waiver.

Fee Reduction

To qualify for a fee reduction, your total annual household income must equal between 150% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, as listed in the following tables:

For residents of the 48 contiguous states and U.S. territories
Household Size 150% of Poverty Guidelines 200% of Poverty Guidelines
1 $18,210 $24,280
2 $24,690 $32,920
3 $31,170 $41,560
4 $37,650 $50,200
For each additional person, add: $6,480 $8,640
 
For Hawaii residents
Household Size 150% of Poverty Guidelines 200% of Poverty Guidelines
1 $22,770 $30,360
2 $30,870 $41,160
3 $38,970 $51,960
4 $47,070 $62,760
For each additional person, add: $8,100 $10,800
 
For Alaska residents
Household Size 150% of Poverty Guidelines 200% of Poverty Guidelines
1 $20,940 $27,920
2 $28,395 $37,860
3 $35,850 $47,800
4 $43,305 $57,740
For each additional person, add: $7,455 $9,940

Last updated August 30, 2018 (source: USCIS)

To apply for the fee reduction, you must submit Form I-942 (officially called the “Request for Reduced Fee”). Only the application filing fee will be reduced (by 50%, from $640 to $320). The biometrics fee will remain $85. Therefore, if eligible for the fee reduction, you will pay only $405. (If you’re 75 or older, however, your exemption from the biometrics fee means you’ll pay only $320.)

Fee Waiver

To qualify for a fee waiver, you must demonstrate to the U.S. government that you can’t afford the filing fee due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • You receive public assistance benefits, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Your total annual household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (see the “150% of Poverty Guidelines” column in the tables above).
  • You have a financial hardship (such as large medical expenses or unemployment).

To apply for the waiver, you must submit Form I-912 (officially called the “Request for Fee Waiver”). If approved, both the application filing fee and biometrics fee will be waived, and you will pay $0.

With Boundless, you get the confidence of an independent immigration attorney who will review all of your materials and answer any questions you have — for no additional fee.  Ready to start?



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