Immigrants applying to become United States citizens will pay more than twice as much as they do now under a new plan that takes effect July 30. The new fee structure is aimed at speeding up the processing of paperwork, but critics have suggested it could put citizenship beyond the realm of many immigrants. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, the application fee for citizenship will increase from $330 to $675.
To become a U.S. citzen, a legal immigrant must receive a green card and live in the United States for five years or be married to a U.S. citizen for three years. An immigrant must be literate and able to speak in English, be of good moral character and have a basic knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government.
If you or someone you know are thinking about becoming a U.S. citizen, now is the time to send in your application if you want to save $345. Free help with the citizenship process and criteria is available to qualifying immigrants through the local Adult Education program. For more information, contact Laurie Burkholder at 218-281-4743 or call 800-562-4053, ext. 117 for a classroom location near you.