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Biden administration increasing cost of US citizenship

Starting April 1, the Biden administration is increasing the cost of filing several immigration forms.
Biden administration increasing cost of US citizenship
Posted at 8:42 PM, Feb 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-19 20:43:07-05

Arriving in the U.S. marks the beginning of a long journey for immigrants seeking the American dream. Once on U.S. soil, the application process to become a U.S. citizen can be arduous —  and will soon be more expensive. 

In just over a month, permanent U.S. residents seeking to become U.S. citizens will need to pay nearly 20% more to become naturalized.  

A 2023 report found 9 million green card holders are eligible for the naturalization process required to become a U.S. citizen. 

A green card holder is a permanent resident granted authorization to work and live in the U.S. Starting April 1, the Biden administration is increasing the cost of several immigration forms. The fee to file the naturalization form online is currently $640, and will jump to $710 — an 11% increase. The paper filing fee will jump to $760 — a 19% increase.  

Meanwhile, the cost for prospective immigrants to apply for permanent resident status will increase 26% from $1,140 to $1,440. 

The Department of Homeland Security says the increase in fees will help recover costs to help maintain adequate service and will expand electronic filing.  

The American Immigration Lawyers Association released a statement following the announcement, calling the additional fees imposed on immigration forms “a huge burden."

According to DHS, the last fee change was in 2016. The Trump administration nearly doubled the fees in 2020 as part of a larger effort to restrict immigration, but a federal judge ruled against the increases. 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the office that processes these forms, is funded primarily from fees passed on to applicants requesting immigration benefits.  

DHS will hold a public engagement session on these changes on Feb. 22.  

SEE MORE: ICE contemplates releasing detained migrants amid budget shortfall


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