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US boosts passport fees, sets value of citizenship

US boosts passport fees, sets value of citizenship

February 3rd, 2012 in News

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. citizenship is priceless to some, worthless to others. But now the State Department has a dollar figure: U.S. citizenship is worth $450.

At least that's what it will cost you to renounce it.

New consular fees took effect Thursday. According to the Federal Register, the cost to process a formal renunciation of U.S. citizenship skyrocketed from $0 to $450.

The State Department doesn't say how or why it calculated the cost. Citizenship is free for most Americans who are accorded the privilege at birth. The department says only that it "has decided that the renunciant should pay this fee at the visit during which he or she swears the oath of renunciation."

It's also getting more expensive if you want to keep your U.S. citizenship and need a passport to prove it. The application fee for a passport is jumping by 27 percent, from $55 to $70 with a 100 percent increase, from $20 to $40, in the passport security surcharge.

In addition to the increase in the application fee, the department will now charge $82 - up from nothing - to add new pages to a U.S. passport. It says the fee is needed to offset the cost of the pages, the time spent affixing the pages into the passport book, endorsing the passport and performing a quality-control check.

And, registering the overseas birth of an American child is going up as well. It will now cost $100 to apply for a report of a birth abroad, up from $65.

The cost of getting a document notarized at a U.S. embassy abroad is also going up. The new price is $50 for a single page, up from $30, according to the new fee schedule.