If you cannot pay your filing fees while applying for your citizenship application, the good news is that you may be eligible to waive the application fee. USCIS is recently allowing fees to be waived if you meet specific requirements. This article will walk you through the eligibility requirements for a citizenship fee waiver and how you can start the application process of becoming a United States citizen.
How to meet the eligibility for a citizenship application fee waiver
It is possible to receive a fee waiver if you show that you fall within one of the following categories.
- You may be eligible for a fee waiver if you or your spouse currently receive a government benefit because of your low income or assets. This government benefit is also referred to as a means-tested benefit. Examples of this benefit include food stamps, Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income.
- You must prove that your household income does not exceed 150 percent of the current federal poverty guidelines.
- Or You must show that you are currently dealing with a severe financial hardship that prevents you from paying the application fee.
However, before requesting a fee waiver, it is essential to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that you meet the requirements. An immigration attorney will also be able to guide you through the citizenship process and make sure you have correctly submitted all the necessary documents.
Who Is Eligible For United States Citizenship?
The requirements for United States citizenship may differ depending on your situation. However, here are the general requirements.
- Be at least 18 years old when you file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
- Have had a permanent resident with a green card for at least three or five years.
- Lived for a least three months in the state where you applied for citizenship.
- Have been a continuous resident in the United States for at least three or five years before filing Form N-400.
- Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 15 or 30 months out of the five years before filing Form N-400.
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
- Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government.
- Be a person of good moral character.
- Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.
How a citizenship fee waiver could affect your application for United States citizenship.
When you apply for citizenship, one of the most essential things that USCIS will look at is that you have met the requirements and that you are a person of good moral character. Therefore, you never want to falsify or exaggerate anything you submit to USCIS.
For example, suppose you are requesting to waive your application fee. In that case, USCIS might examine the record of an applicant receiving public benefits to determine whether they are unlawfully receiving any of those benefits. Falsifying any information would be considered fraud and against your consideration of good moral character. USCIS might also look deeper into your background to see your current situation and what you have previously done in your home country.
Also, requesting a fee waiver could delay your application. This delay is because USCIS will need to review the fee waiver request separately before they review your citizenship application. If USCIS denies the fee waiver request, it will not review the application until non-citizen immigration has paid the filing fee.
It is crucial that you understand all the benefits and non-benefits of requesting a fee waiver for your citizenship application. We want to ensure that our clients have a seamless citizenship application process and that you have all the most up-to-date available information.
If you need help applying for United States citizenship, our immigration attorneys are here to guide you through the entire process. We work with clients throughout all 50 United States. Contact our office to set up an appointment.
We can help you will your immigration needs.
Areas of Immigration Law:
Naturalization (Citizenship) Application
Immigrant Relative Petitions
Fiancé Visa Applications
Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing
Criminal Consequences and Deportation Defense
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Application
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Green Card Renewals
Temporary Work Visas
Temporary Protected Status
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
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