Monday, September 28, 2009

Cost to become a US citizen

The Boston Globe has a piece today about the raised fees to become a US citizen.

According to the Globe, "the effects ripple across cities such as Boston, Lawrence, Cambridge, and Lynn, which have high immigrant populations and low citizenship rates. Less than half of immigrants in each city are naturalized citizens, according to 2008 census figures, compared with 49 percent statewide and 43 percent nationwide."

umm - 49 percent and 43 percent are "less than half". But anyway, I know that I've paid well over $1000 for various Permanent Resident fees, over the past few years. I noticed that the fees have been going up all the time, and I took the view that it's better to get these things done now, rather than pay more later.

How does the US compare on this? The Globe reports that Australia and Canada are cheaper places to get citizenship, at "about $200". The IrishCentral site reports that Australia is the Number One choice for Irish people fleeing the recession. Jenny Woods, a 27-year-old from my home county of Westmeath, is quoted saying "I have family in the U.S. but I couldn't get a visa so I decided to come to Australia." And today's Irish Times quotes a couple moving to Vancouver. With its strict visa rules and high prices for immigration fees, the US is not seen as quite as attractive, which is a shame.

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