Law Office of Asel Mukambetova

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Citizen? Complete Guide

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Citizen Complete Guide

Let us help you start your application today!

Last updated: April 3, 2024.

By Asel Mukambetova, Esq. · Columbia Law School · Licensed immigration attorney

For most lawful permanent residents, it will cost $710-$760 to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. 

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Citizen

This table shows how much does it cost to become a U.S. citizen:

N-400 Filing Category

Paper Filing Fee

Online Filing Fee

General Filing



If your documented annual household income is not more than 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and you submit supporting documentation with your application.



If you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act sections 328 or 329 with respect to military service.



Certain applicants may be eligible for a Fee Waiver. Learn more: Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.

How Do I Pay USCIS Fees?

Most USCIS immigration forms require you to pay a filing (or processing) fee. 

How you pay your filing fees is largely dependent on whether you are located in the United States or abroad.

USCIS requires that you pay the exact amount required or your application will be rejected.  

Are USCIS Fees Refundable?

In paying any fee, you ask the USCIS to perform a service. 

That service is processing your USCIS form (or application).

Because USCIS is performing a service for you, these fees are non-refundable regardless of whether USCIS approves your application or not. 

How Do I Pay N-400 Filing Fee?

If you file your citizenship application online, you will make a payment online on USCIS website. 

If you file your citizenship application (Form N-400) by mail, you can pay the fee with: 

  • Money order
  • Personal check
  • Cashier’s check, or 
  • By credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions

Making Payment by Check

If paying with a bank draft, cashier’s check, certified check, personal check, or money order, you must draw from a U.S. financial institution and it must be payable in U.S. funds. 

You can purchase a money order at any USPS office. Find your nearest USPS office here.

You must mail these check or money order payments with your N-400 application.

If you choose to make payment by check, please be aware of the following: 

  • Insufficient Funds: If your check or other payment method is unpayable, USCIS will attempt the process for a second time. If this second attempt is returned as unpayable, your application will be denied for failure to pay fees and you will be charged $30.00.

Your personal check must be pre-printed with both your name and your bank’s name. 

Your address and phone number must also be pre-printed, typed, or written in ink.

If you are making payment by personal check, USCIS requires the check to be written as follows:

Tips how to write the personal check:

  1. Use the U.S. style of month/day/year when writing the date (Jan. 4, 2017, or 1/4/17);
  2. Write “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (not “USDHS” or “DHS”) on the Pay to the Order of line;
  3. When stating the amount of the check, use numerals and the exact amount of the fee (“$760.00”);
  4. You must spell out the exact dollar amount and write the cents portion of the amount as a fraction over 100 (“Seven hundred twenty-five and 00/100”);
  5. You should write a description of the purpose of your payment (“N-400 application and biometric services fee”); and
  6. Using your legal name, sign the check in ink.

Making Payment with a Credit Card

You can pay your fees with a credit card, debit card, or prepaid card for both online and mail (paper) N-400 applications. 

USCIS accepts: 

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express, and
  • Discover. 

Be sure your card is active and there are sufficient funds on your card to make payment. 

If your card is rejected for any reason, USCIS will not attempt to process your card a second time and will deny your application for failure to pay fees. 

Making Payment Online 

When you file any form online, the USCIS website will direct you to the secure U.S. Treasury Department website 

This Treasury Department website will guide you through the process of paying your fees with a credit, debit, prepaid card, or a direct bank account withdrawal.   

Beware: The USCIS only uses the Treasury Department website ( to process fees.  

Always check the website address before paying.  

Beware of scam websites and scammers who may pretend to be a legitimate USCIS website. 

Making Payment by Mail

If you file your form by mail, you can still pay fees by credit card by following these steps: 

  1. Complete and sign Form G-1450 (Authorization for Credit Card Transactions);
  2. Place your completed Form G-1450 in the envelope with your USCIS application; and
  3. Mail the entire package to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox.

If your application is complete and ready for processing, USCIS will: 

  • Charge your credit card for the amount of your fees;
  • Destroy the Form G-1450 you filed to protect your credit card information (USCIS will destroy your Form G-1450 even if your application is rejected and no payment is taken from your card); and 
  • You will see a charge from USCIS on your credit card statement.

Can I Get N-400 Fees Reduced or Waved?

The United States government recognizes that some are unable to pay the fees associated with the immigration process. 

USCIS Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization) is one of the forms in which fees may be reduced or waived.

Am I Eligible for a Fee Reduction? 

A fee reduction means the USCIS will reduce the application fee associated with Form N-400 from $760 to $380.  

A fee reduction should not be confused with a fee waiver. 

This is discussed further below.

The granting of a fee reduction does not relieve you from paying the full $85 biometric services fee.

To qualify for a fee reduction, you must provide documentation showing that your total household income is greater than 150% but below 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines at the time you filed your application.

How Long Will it Take to Process My N-400 Application?

USCIS N-400 applications are processed by some 89 field offices located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. 

Unfortunately, there is no set time frame between these local field offices. 

Form N-400 Processing Time

Application centerProcessing time
Agana GU7.5 Months to 17 Months
Albany NY7.5 Months to 17 Months
Albuquerque NM5 Months to 5.5 Months
Anchorage AK7.5 Months to 17 Months
Atlanta GA4.5 Months to 27 Months
Baltimore MD7 Months to 23.5 Months
Boise ID7.5 Months to 17 Months
Boston MA5.5 Months to 13 Months
Brooklyn NY9.5 Months to 17.5 Months
Buffalo NY4.5 Months to 8.5 Months
Charleston SC7.5 Months to 17 Months
Charlotte Amalie VI7.5 Months to 17 Months
Charlotte NC5 Months to 15 Months
Chicago IL5.5 Months to 15 Months
Christiansted VI7.5 Months to 17 Months
Cincinnati OH7.5 Months to 17 Months
Cleveland OH4 Months to 6.5 Months
Columbus OH5 Months to 8 Months
Dallas TX10.5 Months to 39.5 Months
Denver CO6 Months to 12.5 Months
Des Moines IA7.5 Months to 17 Months
Detroit MI6 Months to 11 Months
El Paso TX5 Months to 7.5 Months
Fort Myers FL5.5 Months to 8.5 Months
Fort Smith AR7.5 Months to 17 Months
Fresno CA5 Months to 7.5 Months
Greer SC7.5 Months to 17 Months
Harlingen TX4.5 Months to 6.5 Months
Hartford CT8.5 Months to 21.5 Months
Helena MT7.5 Months to 17 Months
Hialeah FL3.5 Months to 8 Months
Honolulu HI6 Months to 12.5 Months
Houston TX13.5 Months to 45 Months
Imperial CA7.5 Months to 9.5 Months
Indianapolis IN7 Months to 13.5 Months
Jacksonville FL5.5 Months to 11 Months
Kansas City MO7.5 Months to 17 Months
Kendall FL4.5 Months to 10 Months
Las Vegas NV10.5 Months to 19.5 Months
Lawrence MA7.5 Months to 17 Months
Long Island NY7 Months to 18.5 Months
Los Angeles CA7.5 Months to 17 Months
Los Angeles County CA7.5 Months to 17 Months
Louisville KY7.5 Months to 17 Months
Manchester NH7.5 Months to 17 Months
Memphis TN7.5 Months to 17 Months
Miami FL7.5 Months to 26.5 Months
Milwaukee WI7.5 Months to 17 Months
Minneapolis-St. Paul MN8.5 Months to 16 Months
Montgomery AL5.5 Months to 16 Months
Mount Laurel NJ7.5 Months to 14 Months
Nashville TN9 Months to 15 Months
Newark NJ10 Months to 18 Months
New Orleans LA8 Months to 21 Months
New York City NY12.5 Months to 28 Months
Norfolk VA7.5 Months to 11 Months
Oakland Park FL4 Months to 16.5 Months
Oklahoma City OK6 Months to 9.5 Months
Omaha NE5 Months to 12.5 Months
Orlando FL7.5 Months to 13 Months
Philadelphia PA8 Months to 14.5 Months
Phoenix AZ6.5 Months to 12 Months
Pittsburgh PA7.5 Months to 17 Months
Portland ME7.5 Months to 17 Months
Portland OR7 Months to 12 Months
Providence RI7.5 Months to 17 Months
Queens NY10 Months to 15.5 Months
Raleigh NC4 Months to 7.5 Months
Reno NV7.5 Months to 17 Months
Sacramento CA7.5 Months to 17 Months
Saint Albans VT7.5 Months to 17 Months
Saint Louis MO5.5 Months to 8.5 Months
Salt Lake City UT7 Months to 16.5 Months
San Antonio TX6 Months to 9.5 Months
San Bernardino CA7.5 Months to 17 Months
San Diego CA7.5 Months to 17 Months
San Fernando Valley CA7.5 Months to 17 Months
San Francisco CA7.5 Months to 17 Months
San Jose CA7.5 Months to 17 Months
San Juan PR7.5 Months to 17 Months
Santa Ana CA7.5 Months to 17 Months
Seattle WA11 Months to 19 Months
Spokane WA7.5 Months to 17 Months
Tampa FL5 Months to 11 Months
Tucson AZ7.5 Months to 17 Months
Washington DC9 Months to 21 Months
West Palm Beach FL7 Months to 11.5 Months
Wichita KS7.5 Months to 17 Months
Yakima WA7.5 Months to 17 Months

You can track the status of your N-400 application through the Case Status Tracking Tool on the USCIS website.