On November 14, 2019, Department of Homeland Security published a notice in the Federal Register regarding a proposed increase in filing fees for certain applications for immigration benefits. The change represents an average 21% increase in the filing fee amounts required for applications, which may be significant, especially when multiple family members are filing for immigration benefits.

One crucial increase will be in the cost of filing for naturalization in order to become a U.S. citizen. The current filing fee is $640. If the increased filing fees takes effect, the cost to file for naturalization will go up to $1,170, an 83% increase.

Becoming a U.S. citizen is a privilege that many immigrants consider to be an essential part of being members of our society. It gives them the all-important right to vote in the United States, which is a fundamentally important civic duty. With the significant increase in the filing fee for the naturalization application, is it strongly recommended that those who are eligible to file for naturalization do so before the filing fee increase takes effect. It is not clear at this moment when the change will take effect, as the public comment period is open through December 16, 2019.

As with any other application for an immigration benefit, it is very important that applicants for naturalization consult with a qualified attorney prior to filing any application.

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