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星期三, 5月 04, 2016

Partial Citizenship Fee Waiver Announced!

Partial Citizenship Fee Waiver Announced!

Boston, MA- This morning USCIS announced a proposed rule to adjust their fee schedule. The proposal states that the Department of Homeland Security will increase the overall fee from $595 to $640, and will charge a reduced fee of $320 for naturalization applicants with family income between 150 and 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

About 1 million of the 8.8 million people who are eligible for citizenship will be eligible for the partial fee waiver. This includes over 22,000 individuals in Massachusetts. In the past, we have seen that a significant portion of the state’s working poor have been unable to overcome the financial barriers to citizenship. With this proposed expansion of the fee waiver, citizenship will no longer be limited to those who are well to do, or have low enough incomes to qualify for the full fee waiver. The partial fee waiver will give thousands in the Commonwealth the opportunity to become a part of this nation and to participate in our vibrant democracy.     

“The new partial fee waiver will mean millions of people are no longer restricted from obtaining citizenship, but instead it will give a diverse and hardworking group of people the opportunity to integrate into our communities and pursue their American dreams,” said Eva Millona, Executive Director of the MIRA Coalition, and Co-Chair of the National Partnership of New Americans (NPNA), which has long lobbied for this change. “We are so pleased to hear the announcement, and are looking forward to the implementation of this change and the positive impact this will have, not only in our communities, but for immigrant communities across the U.S.”

For years, MIRA has been working with the National Partnership for New Americans to push for increased access to citizenship for the working poor. The MIRA Coalition holds clinics where specially trained volunteers help qualified immigrants fill out the appropriate paperwork to apply for U.S. Citizenship. "We see so many people come to our clinics who work two or three jobs just to make ends meet. They are not eligible for the fee waiver, but have to choose between paying rent and paying the $595 application fee,” said Ms. Millona.“We are excited to be able to provide the partial fee waiver option to those in our community who desperately need it."
Fee changes will be open for public comment over the summer, and are set to be implemented in the beginning of fiscal year 2017. (By MIRA)