IMPORTANT UPDATE — July 31, 2020: Effective Oct. 2, 2020, government filing fees will increase for marriage-based green card applications filed from within the United States, as well as for naturalization applications. Total fees for green card applications filed from outside the United States will decrease very slightly. See our breakdown of the new fees here.
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 U.S. citizenship.
How much does it cost to become a U.S. citizen?
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.
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:
|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.
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.
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. Learn more here about qualifying for reduced or waived fees.