On October 2, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase filing fees for naturalization applications from $720 to $1,160 or $1,170 for online applications. The fee waivers associated with citizenship applications will also become significantly more difficult to obtain. Previously, one could get a fee waiver by simply showing they were receiving a means-tested benefit, like food stamps. This will no longer be the case. The fee waiver will now only apply to immigrants who received lawful permanent residence as victims of spousal abuse or human trafficking or other similarly situated applicants.
It is possible that the motivation behind the citizenship application fee increase is to reduce voting by discouraging applicants before this year’s election in November. However, it is also likely that the new measure simply fits into Trump’s larger plan to restrict the rights and privileges of benefit-seeking immigrants.
The time to file for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen is now. And using an experienced attorney is important to ensure that your application is not rejected. A rejection could very well push your refiling date past October 2, 2020, which would mean you would be forced to pay the 80% increase in filing fees.
To speak with an experienced Austin immigration lawyer about filing for citizenship, please call experienced Austin immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, of Michael G.Murray, P.A. You can call today at (512) 215-4407, or contact the firm online, to learn more.