The application for U.S. citizenship, known as Form N-400 , is among the immigration forms for which an applicant can request a fee waiver. The fee waiver application consists of Form I-912, which you will need to submit to USCIS together with your application and documents supporting your need for the waiver. Some foreign nationals find it necessary to ask for a waiver because filing Form N-400 costs several hundred dollars, and they may not have that amount of cash available at the time.

    Eligibility for a Fee Waiver

    You likely can receive a fee waiver if you can show that you fall within one of three groups. First, you may be eligible for a fee waiver if your spouse, the head of your household, or you are receiving a government benefit because of your low income or assets. This is known as a means-tested benefit. Examples of means-tested benefits include food stamps, Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income.

    1. 1 The applicant, their spouse, or the head of their household receives a means-tested benefit
    2. 2 The applicant’s household income is at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines
    3. 3 The applicant is currently experiencing a financial hardship

    Another way to qualify for a waiver involves showing that your household income does not exceed 150 percent of the current federal poverty guidelines when you ask for the waiver, based on your household size. You will need to multiply the amounts in the federal poverty guidelines by 1.5. Then, you will need to calculate your household size by identifying everyone who depends on your income or the income of your spouse or head of household. Parents and unmarried children under 21 who live with you will count as part of your household, as well as children who are full-time students and live with you when they are on vacation. Children with special needs due to disabilities also likely are part of your household. Any other people listed as dependents of your spouse, your head of household, or you on tax returns likely will qualify as part of your household.

    More generally, you can get a waiver if you can show that you are dealing with a serious financial hardship that prevents you from paying the application fee. A financial hardship may arise from a medical emergency, for example, or perhaps job loss or an eviction.

    Impact of a Fee Waiver Request on Eligibility for Naturalization

    Certain information uncovered after a fee waiver request may adversely affect a “good moral character” determination.

    Before you ask for a waiver, you should be aware that your request might in some cases adversely affect your application for citizenship. One of the eligibility requirements involves showing that you have good moral character. While poverty does not show a lack of moral character, USCIS might examine the record of an applicant who is receiving public benefits to determine whether they are receiving any of those benefits unlawfully. This would be considered fraud, which would suggest that they lack the necessary moral character. Meanwhile, USCIS might find that a foreign national who has filed for bankruptcy or who has credit judgments against them has exploited the U.S. economic system. This might show that they do not have good moral character, especially if they are failing to pay off their debts.

    Some people who are facing financial difficulties fail to keep up with child support obligations. A failure to pay child support, regardless of the reason, can result in a finding that an applicant lacks the necessary moral character.

    Even if your waiver request does not affect the merits of your application, you should know that it may lengthen the processing time. This is because USCIS will need to review the fee waiver request separately, before it reviews the overall application. If USCIS denies the fee waiver request, it will not review the application until the foreign national has paid the filing fee. It will return the application materials to the foreign national and refrain from entering their receipt in its records. If you have a strong reason for becoming a U.S. citizen as soon as possible, you may want to find a way to pay the fee rather than risking a delay.

    Last reviewed October 2021

    Who qualifies for citizenship fee waiver?
    You are eligible for the Request for Reduced Fees if your household income is between 150% and 200% of the federal poverty level (approximately $38,000-$52,000 for a family of 4). more
    What is Pru waiver?
    PRUWaiver is a rider attachable to PRUCash and PRUCash Double Reward which can help lift your financial burden with greater savings and protection. more
    How do you get a waiver for citizenship?
    Requesting a fee waiver
    1. Complete the most current version of Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.
    2. Sign your fee waiver request.
    3. Send your fee waiver request with the petition or application for which you are requesting the fee be waived.
    Who introduced citizenship?
    The Romans first used citizenship as a device to distinguish the residents of the city of Rome from those peoples whose territories Rome had conquered and incorporated. more
    What kind of disabilities qualify for the waiver citizenship?
    Who is eligible for a disability waiver? The applicant must have a medically determinable physical or developmental disability or mental impairment that causes the applicant to be unable to learn English and/or U.S. history and civics. more
    Can I buy citizenship?
    Citizenship by Investment (CIP): These are programs where you can literally pay a fee (usually more than $100,000) or invest in property in exchange for full citizenship and a passport. Countries that fall into this bucket include Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, Cyprus, and Malta. more
    Which country sells citizenship?
    Several European countries, among them Malta and Cyprus, also offer EU passports in exchange for investment, although these tend to be more expensive. So far, Saint Kitts and Nevis has sold the most citizenships on a global level. more
    Will I lose my U.S. citizenship if I apply for dual citizenship?
    A U.S. citizen may naturalize in a foreign state without any risk to his or her U.S. citizenship. However, persons who acquire a foreign nationality after age 18 by applying for it may relinquish their U.S. nationality if they wish to do so. more
    Does DUI affect citizenship?
    Answer. A DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) is not among the crimes that automatically bars a person from naturalized U.S. citizenship. (Those are described at Crimes That Will Prevent You From Receiving U.S. Citizenship.) more
    Does citizenship expire?
    You will no longer be an American citizen if you voluntarily give up (renounce) your U.S. citizenship. You might lose your U.S. citizenship in specific cases, including if you: Run for public office in a foreign country (under certain conditions) more
    Does Canadian citizenship expire?
    Replace or Renew a Canadian Citizenship Card Canadian citizenship cards and certificates issued after 1977 never expire. However, they may no longer be accepted if they are in bad condition or are illegible. If the photo, borders, or writing on the document is damaged, then you will need to replace the document. more


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