Category Archives: Citizenship

Immigration Insider articles in this category include information about the many paths to citizenship in the United States and the practical matters when naturalizing as a U.S. citizen with Form N-400.

Cost of Citizenship is Less Than You Think

cost of citizenship for new americansOne of the common reasons permanent residents don’t apply for U.S. citizenship – cost. It presently costs $725 to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. That’s a lot of money. And the cost of citizenship will only get more expensive in the future as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) raises fees.

There are approximately 13 million immigrants in the United States who are lawful permanent residents, otherwise known as green card holders. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, an estimated 8.7 million of those permanent residents are eligible to naturalize (become a U.S. citizens). Yet many are trapped in an expensive cycle of green card renewal.

The best way to escape this cycle is Continue reading

How to Become a U.S. Citizen

Resources for permanent residents to overcome barriers like money, age, language, and civics knowledge.

how to become a us citizenIf you’ve put off naturalization because you think it’s too difficult or too expensive, think again. Provisions in the law and numerous free resources are making it easier than ever to become a U.S. citizen.

CitizenPath published a free guide for permanent residents that want to become U.S. citizens through the naturalization process. The free guide includes 44 pages of tips and valuable information about the naturalization process. It even includes 100 sample test questions and a necessary vocabulary list. Continue reading

What Happens at a Naturalization Interview

How to prepare for your test and interview after filing Form N-400

Naturalization Interview at uscisThe naturalization interview is the final obstacle for permanent residents that have filed Form N-400 to become U.S. citizens. Near the end of the N-400 processing time line, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will mail you an appointment notice for the naturalization interview. If everything goes well, you will most likely know if USCIS will grant you U.S. citizenship by the end of the appointment.

A USCIS officer will conduct your naturalization interview in a private office or cubicle. The officer begins the interview by asking you to raise your right hand and swear to tell the truth during the interview. Continue reading

Green Card Renewal Process is Sucking Us Dry

Green Card Renewal Process is Sucking You DryU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to increase the fee on the green card renewal process. Every few years, the fee goes up. Each and every time you need to renew or replace a green card (Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card), you’ll pay $540 in USCIS filing fees.

The permanent resident card, best known as a green card, is your tangible proof that you are a lawful permanent resident in the United States with unique rights and privileges. If you’re stuck without a valid, unexpired green card, you could run into serious problems. But maintaining it incurs a cost. There is a better way. Continue reading

3 Practical Benefits of U.S. Citizenship

benefits of u.s. citizenshipProponents of U.S. citizenship will often point out the patriotic and emotional benefits of naturalization. These are all valid reasons, but naturalizing as a U.S. citizen is just downright practical for permanent residents. We discuss just three of the practical benefits of U.S. citizenship.

Individuals with lawful permanent resident status (green holders) often weigh the value of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. Many are satisfied with the ability to live and work in the United States, but many others want more. The Constitution and laws of the United States give many rights to both citizens and non-citizens living in the United States.

There are several rights and privileges afforded only to U.S. citizens, but consider these three practical benefits of U.S. citizenship: Continue reading

Apply for Citizenship with an Expired Green Card

us citizenship with an expired green cardYou’ve decided that it may be time to apply for U.S. citizenship, but you also realize that your green card is expired. You’ve heard that you can’t apply for citizenship with an expired green card. Worse yet, the cost to renew your card and then apply for citizenship is too much.

Currently, the USCIS fees to renew a green card are $540. Then, the USCIS fees to apply for naturalization are currently $725. That’s $1,265 in fees to do both.

For most people, this cost is a barrier to applying for U.S. citizenship with an expired green card. But it’s not mandatory to renew an expired green card before applying for citizenship. Continue reading

The Naturalization Process – Getting Ready

Naturalization Process for US PassportThe naturalization process is the path through which a foreign citizen or national can voluntarily become a U.S. citizen. In order to begin the naturalization process, an applicant must first meet several requirements. Then, he or she must file an application for naturalization, attend an interview, and pass an English and a civics test.

Nearly 287,000 permanent residents filed an application to naturalize in the first three months of 2017. According to USCIS – the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — that’s up almost 15% from the previous year. Continue reading

Failing to Register for Selective Service

How failing to register for Selective Service creates a problem for men filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

n-400 failing to register for selective servicePermanent resident men are commonly surprised when they stumble upon Question 44 in Part 12 of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

Men between the ages of 18 and 26 are expected to register for the Selective Service and provide proof for the purposes of naturalizing as a U.S. citizen. But how does failing to register for selective service affect one’s eligibility for naturalization? Will Form N-400 be denied if the applicant has not registered? There are numerous questions that this article addresses based on a review of the USCIS policy manual. Continue reading

USCIS Receipt Number Explained

USCIS Receipt Number ExplanationAfter you’ve filed almost any application or petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they will respond by mailing you a Form I-797C, Notice of Action, within approximately 1-3 weeks. (It may take longer to receive the I-797C for some other forms like Form I-751.) The I-797C, Notice of Action, is commonly known as a receipt letter.

For applicants that have incorrectly filed or included the wrong payment, this receipt letter will indicate that the case has been rejected. The applicant will need to refile. If you’ve prepared the form correctly and followed the USCIS directions carefully, this receipt letter will indicated that your case has been accepted. Once the form has been accepted, USCIS will begin reviewing your case.

The receipt letter contains a unique 13-digit receipt number. Also known as a case number, it’s a very important number to help you track the progress of your case or identify a particular immigration filing.
Continue reading

Form G-1450 and How to Use It With Your Application for U.S. Citizenship

Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card TransactionsForm G-1450 has come to the rescue of permanent residents that want to pay their naturalization fees with a credit card. Generally, filers of immigration forms must pay their fees with a check or money order. But when the USCIS fees are large, this pre-payment of services can be burdensome. More recently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began allowing naturalization applicants to pay their fees with a credit card. The application for U.S. citizenship comes with a one-time fee that must be paid in full at the time of filing. By submitting Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, an applicant can now pay this fee with a credit card.

USCIS fees have been a barrier to U.S. citizenship for many permanent residents. Form G-1450 makes U.S. citizenship more affordable for permanent residents. By paying the one-time fee with a credit card, applicants are able to pay it off as they are able. Continue reading