Question: I want to apply for naturalization and become a U.S. citizen. I heard that there is a way to waive the USCIS filing fee. How do I apply to waive the USCIS naturalization fee?
Answer: If your family income is below a certain level or if you satisfy other conditions, you can apply to waive part or all of the USCIS filing fee when you apply to naturalize as a U.S. citizen.
What is the USCIS filing fee for naturalization?
The normal USCIS naturalization filing fee is $640 plus an $85 biometric fee for a total of $725.
If you are requesting a fee waiver, you cannot submit your petition or application on USCIS’s website. You will need to file paper versions of the fee waiver request and the naturalization application.
Can I waive the naturalization filing fee?
You may be eligible to waive the $725 USCIS filing fee if you satisfy one of three conditions:
Income. You may waive the USCIS filing fee if your household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines at the time you file. You will need to calculate your household size by identifying everyone who depends on your income or the income of your spouse or head of household. Parents and unmarried children under 21 who live with you will count as part of your household, as well as children who are full-time students and live with you when they are on vacation. If your family income is below the applicable limit, you can waive USCIS’s naturalization filing fee.
Government Benefits. You can also qualify if you prove that you or a member of your household currently receives a means-tested benefit. Examples of means-tested benefits include food stamps, Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income.
Financial Hardship. You may also be eligible for a waiver if you can show that you are dealing with a serious financial hardship that prevents you from paying the application fee. A financial hardship may arise from a medical emergency, for example, or perhaps job loss or an eviction.
If your household income is above 150% but below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines at the time you file, you can pay a reduced filing fee of $405 instead of $725.
|Household Size||150% of HHS Poverty Guidelines||200% of HHS Poverty Guidelines|
|Add $6,810 for each additional person||Add $9,080 for each additional person|
It is important that you provide all of the information requested about each basis of eligibility that you have selected for reducing or waiving the USCIS filing fee. If you do not provide enough information and documents to support your request, your request may be delayed or denied.
You must send your fee reduction or waiver request together with your naturalization application. Do not send a fee waiver request by itself.
Will USCIS deny my request for a naturalization fee waiver?
The most common reasons why USCIS denies fee waiver requests include:
- You did not sign your application forms.
- You did not provide evidence that you are currently receiving a means-tested benefit; your household income is at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines; or that you are currently experiencing a financial hardship.
- You submitted evidence in support of your fee waiver request that is not in English, and you did not provide a certified English translation.
ImmiFree.Law is The Harrison Law Firm P.C.’s online platform to make the family immigration and naturalization process more efficient, accurate, and affordable. Baya Harrison, Esq. is an attorney licensed in New York, Florida, and California. Attorney Harrison has helped numerous individuals and families navigate the U.S. immigration process, specifically family-based petitions and naturalization.