To make processing faster, immigration fees are going up

Average cost for processing applications and petitions going up 21%

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Starting Friday, it has become more expensive for immigrants to become U.S. citizens than it has been over the past six years.

On average, it will cost about 21% more to for immigrants to pay for their applications and petitions.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that the paperwork is more expensive now to help pay for making the immigration processing faster. This includes fraud detection, national security costs, case processing, and providing free services to refugees. The application for naturalization will now cost $640; $45 more than it was before.

That may not sound like much, but it can be a hefty amount for immigrants.

“If it does actually expedite that process, then I think that’s a positive thing, because I hear a lot about how backlogged the system gets, and how difficult it can be to get through,” Liam Sullivan of Northampton said.

Citizenship and Immigration Services will offer a reduced filing fee for certain applicants who are qualified for the assistance.

The plan was to roll out new fees in 2012 and 2014, but that was postponed, because the economy was not strong at the time.