cost of citizenship goes up

The application fee for citizenship has increased to $905 from $325.

Cost of citizenship about to go up
— reported by the Houston Chronicle

Immigrant-rights advocates in Houston and across the U.S. denounced the federal government Wednesday for planning a sharp hike in the fees to become a citizen, obtain a green card or get a work permit.

After months of mulling over increases, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services unveiled a list that includes a near-doubling of the fee for citizenship, to $595 from $330, and a spike in the application for legal permanent residence, to $905 from $325.

Fingerprinting, required for most applications, would jump to $80 from $70 under the plan, which could take effect as early as mid-June.

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Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez described the changes as essential for an agency that relies on fees, instead of funding from Congress, for 99 percent of its operating budget. The fee increases, estimated to raise $1 billion yearly, will be used to hire and train more staff, upgrade computer systems and offices, and cut processing times by 20 percent.

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