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Our 9 month series, New Hampshire's Immigration Story explored just that... the vast history of who came to New Hampshire, when they came, why they came, the challenges they faced once they landed on Granite State soil and the contributions that they brought to our state. The Exchange, Word of Mouth, and our News Department looked at the issue of immigration from its first arrivals to the newest refugees calling New Hampshire home.We saw how immigration affects our economy, health care, education system, culture and our current system of law. We also looked at what's going on in New Hampshire today, as we uncovered the groups, societies and little known people who are making an impact all over the state.Funding for NH's Immigration Story is brought to you in part by: New Hampshire Humanities Council, Norwin S. and Elizabeth N. Bean Foundation, The Gertrude Couch Trust0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff89e10000

Immigration Advocates Prepare For Changes Around Citizenship Applications

Immigration advocates in New Hampshire are preparing for it to become more expensive to apply for citizenship and legal residence.

It currently costs $640 to apply for citizenship. But a proposed rule by the federal government would bump that application fee to $1,170 starting in 2020. Other fees are set to rise as well, though some will go down. [Go to Table 19 on this PDF to see the proposed fee changes, or view them in the slideshow above.]

Bruno Soares is an immigration advocate in Nashua. He says the changes could put citizenship out of reach for some legal residents.

“They are concerned they're not going to be able to naturalize for example, because of the amount of fees they're going to have to pay on top of legal fees, attorney’s fees,” he said.

Soares said he recently saw two clients who want to start the citizenship process.

"I advised them on the increase of fees, and of course they wanted to start the process right away,” he said. “They were shocked [at the increase].”

Soares said after the 2016 election, he saw more permanent residents apply for citizenship.

“They wanted to move forward with their citizenship because they were afraid,” he said.

Another change went into effect last Monday that some advocates say could make getting fee waivers to apply for citizenship more difficult. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will now require a tax transcript from the IRS to apply for the fee waiver.

According to Project Citizenship, a Boston based non-profit, nearly 40 percent of all naturalization applications have included a fee waiver.

The public can comment on the proposed rule change to increase application fees until Monday, Dec. 16.

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at

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