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California residents: now is the time to apply for citizenship

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2020 | Citizenship

The Department of Homeland Security published a number of changes to the fees involved in becoming a U.S. citizen. The announcement was posted to the Federal Register on Aug. 3 and will become effective 60 days after that date on Oct. 2.

Trump Administration announced an increase in fees

On July 31, a spokesperson for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, announced that the fees for dozens of different work permits were being increased, calling the move “an overdue adjustment.” The U.S. will join Fiji, Iran and Australia in charging fees to asylum seekers. The new fee will be $50. Historically, asylum seekers have not been charged fees across most of the globe.

Significant increases being made to other fees

Application fees for online naturalization were increased from $640 to $1,160. This is an increase of 80%. USCIS says that the fee increases are necessary to combat the rising costs of program administration and will cover the full cost of processing the application along with a portion of overhead costs, a departure from previous policy.

Other fees also impacted

USCIS initially included an increase for DACA renewals but removed that portion of the law when the Trump Administration announced that it would not be accepting any more applicants to the program. DACA fees will remain at 2017 levels.

In addition, USCIS lowered its fees for genealogical information on deceased immigrants who entered the country in the 19th through mid-20th centuries. Many historians and genealogists had pushed for these fees to be lowered.

If you are pursuing citizenship, an attorney who is experienced in immigration law may be able to assist you and answer any questions. Immigration matters are always in flux, so a legal professional who is up to date on the process may be beneficial to your case.