Credit Card Payments Allowed for N-400 Citizenship Application Fees21 Oct 2015
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released guidance on how to pay the application for naturalization (N-400) filing fees by credit card. The N-400 is the only form that allows for fee payment by credit card. This change is part of President Obama’s efforts to promote and encourage citizenship filings for those eligible to apply.
Credit Card Payment: Place Form G-1450 on Top
For N-400 applications, the USCIS accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards. Gift cards with any of these credit card company logos can also be used. Only one card may be utilized per application, however, so there must be a sufficient balance on the card to cover the entire filing fee.
The N-400 filing and credit card payment is paper-based. Individuals who wish to pay the N-400 fee by credit card must complete form G-1450, authorization for credit card transaction. This form must accompany the N-400 filing, and should be placed on top of the application, in lieu of the filing fee check that would otherwise be required.
One Form of Payment Per Applicant
As noted above, each application must pay the total filing fee amount with one payment method. This applies to the total payment for the filing fee, as well as the biometric fee. Applications submitted with more than one payment method will be rejected by the USCIS.
Multiple Applications Must Use the Same Payment Method
If multiple N-400s are being mailed to the USCIS in the same package, a single payment method must be used to cover all enclosed applications. In this situation, if payment is being made by credit card, a separate G-1450 is required for each individual application; and, each G-1450 must provide the same credit card information.
Submitting multiple N-400 applications in a single package is common when family members all apply to naturalize at the same time. While this is permitted, it is not required. Thus, if certain family members wish to submit different forms of payment, the solution would be for these individuals to submit their respective applications in separate packages.
Security – Credit Card Data Destroyed After Payment Processing
The USCIS destroys the G-1450 form containing credit card information once the payment is processed. The payments are processed through the Department of Treasury Pay.gov Collections Control Panel. This is a system for web-based payment processing accessible only to government agencies. It is compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).
Payment by credit card should make it easier for individuals to remit the N-400 filing fees. These fees create a barrier to naturalized citizenship for many. It is hoped that the payment flexibility afforded through credit cards will help to break down the financial barriers to U.S. citizenship.
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