USCIS Increasing Application Fees Beginning December 23, 2016

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be raising the fees associated with immigration applications beginning on December 23, 2016. Any applications mailed on or after December 23, 2016 will need to include the higher fee. On average, there will be a 21% increase in fees! But who pays the fee? Find out more here.

On a positive note, there will be a three-level fee for naturalization applications (Form N-400). Level one is for persons whose family income is more than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. As an example, under the current 2016 Federal Poverty Guidelines, a family of four with a household income of $48,500 or greater, would need to pay the full N-400 fee which will be $640 if filed on or after December 23, 2016. Currently the “full” fee for an N-400 application is $565. The second level is for families whose household income is greater than 150% but not more than 200% of federal poverty guidelines. Under this new level, an applicant for Naturalization would be eligible to pay a reduced N-400 fee of $320. The third level is for applicants who qualify for fee waivers because their household income is less than 150% of the Federal poverty guidelines. For a household of four, under the current 2016 guidelines, household income for a family of four would need to be less than $36,450 to qualify for a fee waiver. Applicants with approved fee waivers, or certain applicants with military service will not need to pay a fee.

The current Federal Poverty Guidelines can be found on USCIS’s website, but remember that they change each year and therefore new guidelines will be issued for 2017.