Additional Information on Filing a Reduced Fee Request

USCIS established a process for requesting a reduced fee for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization with the 2016 Fee Schedule published on October 23, 2016 and effective on December 23, 2016. We recognize that some applicants cannot afford to pay the full filing fee but can pay a reduced fee. USCIS will approve a reduced fee request only if you clearly demonstrate that your documented annual household income is greater than 150 percent but not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). We will carefully consider the merits of each reduced fee request before making a decision.

A reduced fee is not the same as a fee waiver. Please see our Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver page for information about fee waivers. Do not file both a request for a reduced fee and a request for a fee waiver.

Forms

Associated Fees:

  • N-400 Reduced Fee - $320
  • Biometrics Fee - $85

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Eligibility

You can request a reduced fee if:

  1. You are filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization;

    AND
     
  2. You provide documentation showing you qualify because your documented household income is greater than 150 percent but not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) at the time you file. Check the current eligible income levels based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines for this year at Form I-942P, Income Guidelines for Reduced Fees.

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Requesting a reduced fee

1. Complete the most current version of Form I-942, Request for Reduced Fee.

  • It is important that you provide all the information requested.  If you do not provide enough information and documents to support your request, there will be a considerable delay in processing your request and it may be rejected. Please read the form instructions carefully to avoid common mistakes.
  • You must include a full English translation for all documents that have information in a foreign language. The translator must sign a certification that the English language translation is complete and accurate, and that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.

2. Sign your reduced fee request. If multiple members of the same household are requesting a reduced fee for their Form N-400s filed in the same package, each person requesting a reduced fee must sign the reduced fee request. A legal guardian may sign for a person with a physical disability or mental impairment.

3. Send your reduced fee request with the Form N-400 for which you are requesting the reduced fee. Do not send a reduced fee request by itself.

Note: If you are requesting a reduced fee, you cannot submit your application online. You will need to file paper versions of the reduced fee request and the Form N-400.

4. Include one check for both the reduced fee and the total biometric services fee (if applicable). Do not send multiple checks. 

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How to show that your household income is greater than 150 percent but not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

  • You may request a reduced fee for the filing fees of the application if your documented annual household income is greater than 150 percent but not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines at the time you file. Check the current poverty levels for this year at Form I-942P, Income Guidelines for Reduced Fees.
  • If your income is  at or below 150 percent  of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, do not file a request for a reduced fee. You may file a fee waiver request. See Form I-912.
  • You must list the head of household’s income on your reduced fee request. For the reduced fee request, the head of household can include the head of household as determined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for filing an IRS Form 1040 or the person that earns the majority of the income for your household. You can find more information about who counts as the head of household when filing the IRS Form 1040 at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501.
  • If you are requesting a reduced fee while your spouse lives overseas and provides support to your household, include your spouse’s contributions to your household in the total additional income or financial support section. If your spouse lives overseas is unemployed and is supported by you, state that on the form. If your spouse lives overseas and provides no support to your household, please include a statement explaining the situation.

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Determining who counts toward your household size and income

You count someone as part of your household size if that person is:

  • You;
  • The head of your household (if not you). If the child (under 21 years of age) is applying individually, provide the information of the primary custodial parent;
  • Your spouse living with you (if you are separated or your spouse is not living with you, do not include your spouse); or
  • Any of the following family members who live with you:
    • Your children or legal wards, who are unmarried and under 21 years of age;
    • Your children or legal wards, who are unmarried and are at least 21 years of age but under 24 years of age, are full-time students, and who live with you when not at school;
    • Your children or legal wards, who are unmarried and for whom you are the legal guardian because they are physically or developmentally disabled or mentally impaired to the extent that they cannot adequately care for themselves and cannot establish, maintain, or re-establish their own household;
    • Your parents; and
    • Any other dependents listed on your federal tax return, or on your spouse’s or head of household’s federal tax returns.
  • You must include the annual income of your household members as part of your household income.

My relative or roommate lives with me, does their income count toward my household income?

  • If someone lives with you but does not meet the definition of a household member as described above, do not count that person’s income as part of your household income. You should count the specific amount of any financial contribution that you receive from them only if that money was used to support your household. You would list that amount under the additional income or financial support section.
    • Example 1: If your uncle lives in your house (which you own) and paid $1,000 towards your mortgage, that $1,000 would be included under additional income or financial support because it was financial support provided to your household.
    • Example 2: You share an apartment with a roommate who is not a household member. You pay your own expenses, and your roommate pays his expenses. Your roommate’s income is not part of your household income because the roommate is not financially supporting you. Therefore, you do not include the roommate’s income as part of your household income.

I receive child support, but not the full amount as listed in the court order. Do I include the full amount of the child support as additional income or financial support or only what I actually receive?

  • Annotate the actual amount of child support received. If there is a difference between what is stated in a court order or documentation, provide an explanation. Examples of documents may include bank statements, copies of checks, court documents, or other documentation indicating the actual income or financial assistance you are receiving.

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How marital separation affects eligibility

  • If you are requesting a reduced fee and are not including your spouse’s income because of a marital separation, please provide a signed statement or documentation to establish that your spouse does not live with you and provides no income assistance. Acceptable documents may include a copy of the court order that formalized your legal separation, a formal notarized property settlement agreement, financial support agreement, or separate mortgage, lease, or utility bills that show you and your spouse live apart.
  • Even if you are separated from your spouse, your household income includes any monthly support payments that you receive from your spouse.

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How an Affidavit of Support affects eligibility

If someone filed a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, or Form I-864, Affidavit of Support under Section 213A of the Act, for you, that person may still be responsible for supporting you. However, we will consider that person’s income or assets in deciding whether you are eligible for a reduced fee only if that person is currently a member of your household.

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Common reasons why we deny reduced fee requests

  • The form for which you are making the request is not eligible for a reduced fee.
  • You did not sign Form I-942.
  • All the applicants filing the request did not sign Form I-942 if it was filed for multiple members of the same household filing their N-400s in the same package.
  • You did not provide evidence that your household income that is greater than 150 percent but not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines; or
  • You submitted evidence in support of your reduced fee request that is not in English, but you did not provide a certified English translation.
  • If USCIS denied your reduced fee request and you are not sure why, please read the denial notice (Form I-797, Notice of Action). If, after checking the denial notice, you still do not understand why we denied your reduced fee request, you may email us at lockboxsupport@uscis.dhs.gov.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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