How Much Money Will It Take to Become A US Citizen?

As of this writing, it costs $725 for most people to go through the naturalization process to become a citizen of the United States. This counts for the entire process: from the citizenship application to the citizenship test up until you take the oath of allegiance and receive your certificate of citizenship. You may pay the United States. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by check, money order, credit card, or debit card.

Read on as we tackle all the important things you need to know about paying for your US citizenship, such as the breakdown of fees and how you can have the fees reduced. If you have any questions about any immigration issue like permanent residence, visas, or dual citizenship, get in touch with our knowledgeable The Woodlands, TX immigration lawyer


  • Breakdown of Fees
  • Exemptions to N-400 Fees
  • How to Pay the N-400 Fees by Debit or Credit Card
  • How to Pay N-400 Fees by Money Order or Check
  • Fee Waivers for N-400
  • The Costs of Not Becoming a Citizen

Breakdown of Fees

You have two different fees when you file your Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization): the biometrics service fee and the application fee. These cost $85 and $640, respectively, which add up to $725. 

There are other fees associated when you apply for naturalization such as hiring a knowledgeable professional to help you through the naturalization application. It is usually worth the cost of hiring an immigration attorney. Any mistake in your application delays the date you acquire your United States citizenship and makes you pay for the entire process again. 

Exemptions to N-400 Fees

If you apply for citizenship under the military service category under section 328 or 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA),  then you’re exempt from both fees. 

If you’re an immigrant over the age of 75, then you no longer have to pay the biometrics fee. 

Talk to our experienced The Woodlands, TX immigration lawyers to ask if there’s a way for you to save money when you apply for citizenship status. 

How to Pay the N-400 Fees by Debit or Credit Card:

If you want to pay via card, make sure to follow all these instructions: 

  • Fill out the Authorization for Credit Card Transactions or Form G-1450. 
  • Only submit one form and only use one credit card to pay everything at once.
  • Attach Form G-1450 on your Form N-400 using a paper clip.
  • Mail everything to the USCIS office. 

For additional information about paying N-400 fees by credit card or debit card, visit USCIS.

How to Pay N-400 Fees by Money Order or Check

To pay for your fees with a money order or check, be sure to follow the guidelines provided below: 

  • Address the check as payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
  • This payment must be in US Dollars and must come from a United States financial institution. 
  • Attach the money order or the check with a paperclip over your N-400. 
  • Mail everything to USCIS. 
  • If you reside outside the United States, get in touch with the closest US consulate or embassy for more instructions about payment. 
  • If you’re paying by check, USCIS will convert the payment to an electronic fund transfer (EFT). 

If you have any questions about paying for your naturalization application, visit the USCIS website or get in touch with our savvy The Woodlands, TX immigration attorneys. 

Fee Waivers for N-400

USCIS allows certain categories of individuals to apply for a fee waiver for their US citizenship application. You don’t have to pay anything at all to become a naturalized United States citizen if:

  • You’re in financial hardship which hinders your ability to pay the necessary fees, like a medical emergency or an unexpected accident. 
  • The income of your household is equal to or less than 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines at the time of your filing. You can find this out using Form I-912P, HHS Poverty Guidelines for Fee Waiver Requests.
  • You or a qualified member of your household are the current recipients of a means-tested benefit.  Your benefit is means-tested when the eligibility for it or determination of the amount depends on your income or resources you have available. 

Take note that you can qualify for a partial fee waiver if your household income exceeds 150% but is still below 200% of the poverty level by the time of filing. For this, you have to file Form I-942, Request for Reduced Fee

The complete details are on the USCIS Fee Waiver web page. Additionally, there’s a partial fee waiver if your documented annual household income is greater than 150 percent but not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines at the time you file. If you may qualify, you can learn more about Form I-942, Request for Reduced Fee.

The Cost of Not Becoming a Citizen

It may cost more for you to remain a lawful permanent resident than to continue applying for citizenship over a lifetime. USCIS requires green card holders to renew their green cards every ten years to the tune of $540. You’ll also need to pay this fee whenever you get your green card stolen or lost. 

Citizenship application only costs you $725 once while you need to keep paying to maintain your permanent resident status. This makes becoming a US citizen much cheaper over time than staying as a green cardholder. 

Call us Now For Immigration Help

Many immigrants travel to the Land of Opportunity to create better lives for themselves and their families. Our immigration attorney at Luis F. Hess PLLC can help you with any immigration concerns you may have. 

Our law firm has extensive experience dealing with all kinds of immigration cases, family immigration, marriage-based and employment-based cases, business immigration, removal proceeds, asylum, and more! Our Texas immigration firm provides a full-service approach to solving a wide variety of immigration issues from becoming a U.S. citizen to applying for a visa or green card.

What are you waiting for? If you want to have passionate representation and knowledgeable counsel, call our The Woodlands, TX immigration law office today to schedule a consultation!