(KTSF by Sean Au)
Permanent residents who wish to become American citizens now have to pay $680 in application and fingerprinting fees. Those who are not able to pay may apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a waiver.
The USCIS held an information session on naturalization at the Lao Family Community Development Center. About 100 permanent residents learned about the naturalization procedure as well as seeing a mock up interview.
Low income applicants may ask for a fee waiver. Nationwide, about 54,000 people successfully applied for a fee waiver last year. From the 5,000 successful applicants 5 years ago, the USCIS has seen a substantial increase. To date, the USCIS has waived the naturalization fees of some 180,000 applicants.
As a rule of thumb, those earning less than 150% below the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or those whose livelihoods have been affected by a recent layoff, or those with huge medical expenses, are prone to have their applications approved.
USCIC spokersperson Sharon Rummery explains, “There is no one formula that automatically is going to get you success in your fee waiver application. We look at every case individually, consider the person’s ability to pay and decide upon it.>
To apply for this fee waiver, applicants need to fill in the I-912 form and need not pay the fees with the application. They only need to pay if their application has been rejected.
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