• Immigration Assistance & Services

Most common challenges to anticipate when applying for citizenship

Video Description

[As of April 1, 2024 - Application fees for citizenship (N-400) range from $380-$760. For paper application, the fee is $760, for online applications the fee is $710. If you qualify for a reduced fee, the fee is $380. The biometrics fee is now included in the N-400 fee. USCIS has a helpful fee calculator you may find useful.]

The citizenship application process is typically lengthy and challenging- for everyone. Anticipating the most common issues will give you more control over your application, saving you time and money. Complete your application with a trusted nonprofit or community expert to avoid any potential obstacles from accessing the benefits of citizenship.
There are thousands of nonprofit organizations and experts across the country that provide low-cost and free application assistance, regardless of your economic background. Many of these providers are available both in-person and virtually. So, whether you are applying for yourself or helping someone apply, use these organizations and experts to avoid any application mistakes.
If you are becoming a U.S. citizen, ready to apply for citizenship, or concerned about the journey ahead, watch this video and learn how to get more support.
Read Video Transcript

Most common challenges to anticipate when applying for Citizenship  

Today. I wanna tell you how you can make the application process of becoming a us citizen. Much easier.

Hi, my name's Mira Shavarini executive director of project citizenship. Our mission here at project citizenship is laser focused and that's to increase the naturalization rate in Massachusetts and beyond. I relate to this mission. Quite personally, it took me and my family 17 years to become us citizens

I know all too well, the difficult journeys that immigrants have faced to get to this country and then all the paperwork and the applications to get to the green card.

 “so I want to give you a few tips.... citizenship application.”

“Tip #1: Prepare for the Citizenship application fees”  

The most common challenge of becoming a us citizen for the people that we serve is the application fee. The application fee to become a us citizen is $725. If you have a job that's low wage, you have a family of four or five that costs immediately becomes cost prohibitive. That's the number one challenge.
Tip #2: Anticipate a challenging 20-page application

The second obstacle is the application itself. It's a 20 page long application with full of questions that are difficult to understand. Double negatives, even a trained lawyer makes mistakes.
Tip #3: Prevent time-consuming and costly mistakes

The third obstacle is the time. It takes a long time to complete the application and to submit it for approval. You don't wanna jeopardize having that application rejected because of one mistake. You wanna make sure that it's full proof, that it's been completely vetted. And that's what we do with project citizenship. Make sure that the application is fully tight before we submit it to the government. So you don't waste the time and you don't waste your fee.

“Tip #4: Get hands-on assistance from a trusted organization

we take care of all the complications that go with this application process. When you call our office, our staff will screen, you we'll tell you exactly the documents you need. We'll give you the timeline that's, uh, that you're looking at. And we'll put you into an appointment and fill out that 20 page application and submit it to the us government. We will be your returning on record for the process. So anything that comes from the government will be communicated to us. And so that you can be assured that your application is more secure by going through our office than you were, you would be by submitting it yourself,

There are a lot of resources out there for you. Our office will help you identify those resources and opportunities.

So any way that you look at it, any obstacle that you think is along the way, we're here to help remove those obstacles for you
 Are you ready to take that final step and become a us citizen? We're here to help. We would be more than delighted to take you through that final gate

To reach out, get started, or learn more, contact the experts directly through: onepercentforamerica.org/ask-the-expert


Contact this Expert

Mitra in front of flag

Mitra Shavarini

Executive Director
Project Citizenship
Dr. Mitra K. Shavarini is the Executive Director of Project Citizenship. She is a first-generation immigrant with wide-ranging expertise both domestically and internationally. Dr. Shavarini earned her doctorate in Administration, Planning; Social Policy from Harvard University. She fully believes in the mission that citizenship leads to a stronger U.S. society: economically, socially, culturally and civically.

Project Citizenship


11 Beacon Street, Suite 720
Boston, MA 02108
United States


As a community of volunteers and pro-bono attorneys, Project Citizenship provides free, high quality legal services to permanent residents to help them become U.S. citizens. Project Citizenship has helped 10,000+ immigrants from 158+ countries with various economic backgrounds.

Products & Services:

  • Citizenship Workshops
  • Eligibility Screening
  • Application Assistance
  • Legal Referrals

Locations: Based in Massachusetts but online services available nationally. 

Languages available: English, Haitian Creole, Spanish, French, Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, Japanese


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