New York

NY to pay citizenship application fee for 2,000 immigrants

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters after an announcement in New York, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Cuomo answered some questions about an immigration lottery, where the state will cover the application fee for about 2000 people seeking to become citizens. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters after an announcement in New York, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Cuomo answered some questions about an immigration lottery, where the state will cover the application fee for about 2000 people seeking to become citizens. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)  (The Associated Press)

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters after an announcement about citizenship in New York, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Cuomo answered some questions about an immigration lottery, where the state will cover the application fee for about 2000 people seeking to become citizens. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters after an announcement about citizenship in New York, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Cuomo answered some questions about an immigration lottery, where the state will cover the application fee for about 2000 people seeking to become citizens. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)  (The Associated Press)

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters after an announcement in New York, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Cuomo answered some questions about an immigration lottery, where the state will cover the application fee for about 2000 people seeking to become citizens. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters after an announcement in New York, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Cuomo answered some questions about an immigration lottery, where the state will cover the application fee for about 2000 people seeking to become citizens. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)  (The Associated Press)

New York state will cover the citizenship application fee for an estimated 2,000 low-income immigrants.

The program announced Wednesday will select winners via a lottery. The drawing will be open to immigrants now in the state whose incomes are low, but just too high for federal assistance.

New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado says the existing $680 citizenship application fee is a burden for many immigrants. She says an estimated 160,000 immigrants will be eligible to participate.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration authorized the lottery after advocates for immigrants proposed the idea.

Private donors will contribute money to help the state pay the application fees.

The federal government already waives application fees for the most low-income immigrants. An estimated 400,000 immigrants in the state are eligible for a federal waiver.