How much does it cost to become a US citizen?

Gabriela Peratello

If you’re getting ready to naturalize as a US citizen you’ll need to know the latest US citizenship application fee, so you can budget and plan how to pay your dues.

This guide covers the USCIS filing fees and some other unavoidable costs you should plan for. We’ll also touch on how you can use Wise to pay your fees for less if you’re sending money from a different currency.

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How much does it cost to apply for US citizenship?

If you’re planning to apply for naturalization as a US citizen, there are a few fees you’ll need to take into consideration. The USCIS citizenship application fee 2021 plus biometric cost comes in at around 725 USD for most people, although some are eligible for a reduced or waived fee¹. We’ll cover the citizenship application fee waiver a little later.

Don’t forget other costs may also apply — such as fees to get all the paperwork you need for your application, postage and travel costs if you need to attend meetings or interviews.

What are the US citizenship application fees?

Here are the standard costs for filing your paperwork to naturalize as a US citizen. We’ll take a look at the exceptions which may apply here in just a moment.

What it isStandard cost
Form N-400640 USD filing fee
Biometric85 USD fee
Total725 USD

Form N-400 is the application for naturalization. You can submit this form by mail or online by creating a USCIS account. In fact, even if you submit all your documents by mail, it’s worth having an online USCIS account so you can track processing updates as they are posted.

As your application is processed, you’ll normally need to also attend a biometrics appointment at a local Application Support Centre (ASC). Here you’ll give a photograph, fingerprints and a signature. This information is used to check your identity and make sure your application can be processed². Some applicants may be exempted from this stage — more on that later.

💡 Not quite ready to file your naturalization application yet? Get a full guide to becoming a US citizen, here.

Fee waivers and reductions for the US citizenship application

The main costs you need to know about, and the waivers which may apply, are in the table below. Use the handy USCIS fee calculator to learn more about the costs of filing for US citizenship³.

If you apply for naturalization based on your US military service you may be eligible for a waiver of both USCIS fees. If you’re over 75 years old you may not need to pay the biometrics fee, cutting down the costs.

There are also some ways to have your fee reduced if you can prove your household income merits this, or even completely waived. You’ll need to apply formally for this using the correct paperwork from USCIS⁴.

CategoryCost
Fee reduction
  • Filing fee: 320 USD
  • Biometrics fee: 85 USD
75 or older (without waiver)
  • Filing fee: 640 USD
  • No biometrics feel
Veteran/US military
  • No filing fee
  • No biometrics fee
Fee waiver
  • No filing fee
  • No biometrics fee

Things to have in mind if you apply for a fee waiver

Applying for a fee waiver may mean your naturalization process takes longer overall, as there is simply more paperwork to be approved.

It’s also important to note that to naturalize as a US citizen under some eligibility routes, you’ll need to prove you can support yourself. Although applying for a fee waiver due to financial hardship won’t in any way automatically mean you can not become a US citizen, you may still need to satisfy the authorities of your financial stability as part of your full application for naturalization.

How can you pay for your US citizenship application?

How you pay your USCIS costs will depend on whether you’re in the US or not at the time you apply⁵. Here’s the lowdown.

Paying the application fee from within the US

If you are in the US you can pay your USCIS US citizenship application fees:

  • Online by credit card or debit card
  • Online by bank transfer
  • By mail with a card, check or money order
  • In person at a USCIS office

Paying the application fee from outside the US

If you are applying for US citizenship from abroad, your local US embassy or consulate will manage the payment for your application. Not all payment methods are available in all countries, so you will have to get in touch with your embassy to understand the local processes.

Paying your fees or sending money from abroad? Meet Wise

If you need to send money from abroad for your fees — or for day to day life — you need Wise.

🚀 Get a Wise account


Becoming a US citizen can be an exciting — if long — journey. If you’re ready to submit your application for naturalization you’re already well on the way. Use this guide to learn more about paying your application fees to USCIS, and good luck with gaining your US citizenship.


Sources:

  1. USCIS - Filing fees > Fee schedule
  2. USCIS - Preparing for biometric services
  3. USCIS - Fee calculator
  4. USCIS - Additional information on filing a fee waiver
  5. USCIS - Filing fees

Sources checked on 08.27.2021


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