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Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Price of Citizenship

Naturalization involves paperwork, which in turn involves fees. Some of them are going up. The New York Times reports:

Under the proposal, the fee to apply for a green card, the document for legal permanent residents, would increase to $985 from $930. The application for employment authorization would increase to $380 from $340. A separate fee for fingerprints and other biometrics with many applications would increase to $85 from $80.

Among several new fees, officials said, will be a $6,230 charge for foreigners proposing to invest $500,000 or more in businesses to create jobs in the United States.

The fee for naturalization would remain at $595. That fee was raised in July 2007 by 69 percent and the immigration agency was overwhelmed by applications from immigrants rushing to file ahead of that increase. Since then, naturalization applications have dropped steeply and advocates blamed the higher fee for discouraging eligible immigrants from becoming citizens