N-400 Fee is going up

USCIS has just announced an increase in fees for many applications, including the N-400 citizenship application. The rule-making process requires them to publish the proposed fee rule on the Federal Register for a two-month comment period. Then they will finalize the fee schedule. My guess is that the new fees will go into effect sometime in March. Here's what is being proposed:

  • The current fee of $725 (which includes the biometrics fee) will go up to $760 (a 5% increase).
  • The reduced fee for low income applicants (including the biometrics fee) will go from $405 to $380 (a decrease of 6%--yes, you read that correctly!).
  • A full waiver for very low income applicants will continue to be available.
  • Going forward, USCIS proposes to combine the application fee with the biometric services fee to make the filing process easier.
  • USCIS points out that "The increase remains below the Consumer Price Index price calculation, which if followed would have increased fees to a total $865, a $140 increase over current fees. This adjustment in the fee is done to support access for all eligible immigrants interested applying for naturalization."

It could have been much worse. Fees for a number of other applications are more than doubling!

According to USCIS, the increased revenue will allow them to "increase the number of adjudicators processing applications, implement technology improvements, and increase support provided to individuals seeking information and assistance from USCIS."

FAQ's on the fee changes are posted here: https://www.uscis.gov/proposed-fee-rule-frequently-asked-questions

The full Federal Register announcement is here: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2022-27066/us-citizenship-and-immigration-services-fee-schedule-and-changes-to-certain-other-immigration