One of the most important traits an immigrant must have if they are considering applying for citizenship is a favorable disposition towards the U.S. But even if the applicant has this trait — in addition to many other things, such as no criminal record and an uninterrupted period of residence in the country — the individual can be scared off from becoming a naturalized citizen due to the costs associated with such an application.
There are roughly 8.5 million immigrants in the U.S. that qualify for naturalization, according to the National Council of La Raza. And yet, from 2007 to 2008, the number of people applying for naturalization plummeted — from 1.4 million to about 526,000. Why did this occur? The application costs associated with naturalization can be prohibitively expensive. The actual application has a $680 fee attached to it.
Other obstacles can deter potential U.S. citizens from becoming naturalized. Some people do not have access to the paperwork, or simply do not known how to go about applying. This is where a legal representative can be incredibly helpful — an experienced immigration attorney can help an immigrant (and his or her family) attain U.S. citizenship by getting them the necessary paperwork, organizing their case and helping them through the application process, hopefully with successful results.
Many officials are working towards establishing a federal small loan program that could help immigrants secure the funds they need to pay for the naturalization application fee. There are already infant versions of the program operating in some cities.
Source: VOXXI, “Costs deter immigrants from becoming U.S. citizens,” Raisa Camargo, Oct. 9, 2012
- Being recognized as a U.S. citizen is the goal for so many immigrants in this country. To learn how you can successfully become a naturalized citizen, please visit our Los Angeles naturalization page.