It seems fewer people want to hop into the American melting pot these days, as applications for citizenship have fallen off a cliff, the Dallas Morning News reports. After receiving a record 1.4 million requests from legal residents looking to becoming naturalized in fiscal year 2007, US Citizenship and Immigration Services got just 518,000 applications in 2008. “We are seeing the effect of the economy,” said an agency deputy director.
But some believe it’s not just the economy at work. “In July 2007, the government raised their filing fees by 60%,” said one immigration lawyer. “In this economic climate, it is the fees that have reduced demands.” That applies for visas as well; a company hoping to hire a worker on a H-1B work visa will have to shell out $3,320 to do so.