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The price of naturalization

Many immigrants coming to the U.S. work hard and travel long distances in order to seek new opportunities. When it comes time for these immigrants to naturalize, they may face one unexpected hurdle – fees.

Despite discussions of increasing the fee, the current cost of a naturalization application remains $595, according to The Washington Independent. The Citizenship and Immigration Service declined to raise the fee, but several other costs experienced a hike, such as the price of a green card application or petition for an alien relative.

Immigrant rights groups are advocating to lower fees, as they feel that some immigrants who do not make much money will not be able to afford the application. Because the fee is the final step toward becoming a citizen, many workers are held up by the high price of becoming a citizen, even though they are eligible for naturalization.

Workers who do manage to pay these fees likely understand the improvements money can make in one's life. Some immigrants go through the costly process of naturalizing so that they can send money home to family members still living abroad.

According to the World Bank, the total amount of remittances to developing nations in 2009 was estimated to be approximately $290 billion.

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