Navigating the various laws and regulations associated with becoming an American citizen can be daunting. Still, a naturalization lawyer can help ensure everything is handled correctly. If you’re a member of the U.S. armed forces and want to become a citizen, enlisting the services of a naturalization lawyer can streamline the process and ensure that your application goes through without any problems or delays.
The MAVNI Program provides a path to U.S. citizenship for foreign nationals who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for at least 12 months and meet certain criteria, such as having legal immigration status in the United States or being a refugee or asylum seeker.
This program also allows members of select healthcare professions to become eligible for military expedited naturalization. After completing their assigned military duty, MAVNI Program participants can apply for U.S. citizenship without waiting the usual five-year period after receiving lawful permanent residence (LPR) status necessary for most other people seeking naturalization through military service.
Those eligible for enlistment with the MAVNI Program include those living in the United States in non-immigrant and noncitizen status. Foreign nationals must possess specialized skills in high demand by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). This includes medical professions like nurses, dentists, and physicians and select language skills such as Arabic and Farsi.
Those enrolled in the MAVNI Program must have proof of lawful presence in the United States – a passport or valid visa certified by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They also cannot have any criminal history or be subject to deportation proceedings, which can disqualify them from participating in this program.
Upon completing their military service, MAVNI Program participants can apply for U.S. citizenship without waiting the normal five-year period after receiving lawful permanent residence (LPR) status, which is usually required for most other people seeking naturalization through military service.
Additionally, members of the U.S. Armed Forces seeking for naturalization have access to expedited processing of their applications. They may be able to skip certain steps in the naturalization process, such as taking a civics test or providing proof of good moral character.
Naturalization Through Military Service
If you are an immigrant serving in the U.S. military, you may be eligible to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization. Naturalization through military service is also commonly referred to as “expedited citizenship” and can provide a faster path to naturalization than other forms.
The process of naturalization through military service allows foreign-born members of the U.S. armed forces the opportunity to apply for citizenship. They must meet the basic requirements, including permanent residency and honorable separation from the service.
Other factors needed for naturalization through military service include having at least one year of honorable active duty. Or at least 180 days of current active duty and being discharged or released honorably during peacetime or under honorable conditions during wartime.
Additionally, applicants must be legally present in the United States, demonstrate good moral character, and take an oath of allegiance to the United States. They can file for a waiver or exception from other basic requirements if they are eligible, such as language proficiency or knowledge about U.S. government and history.
So those approved for naturalization through military service will receive all the rights and responsibilities of any other U.S. citizen, including the right to vote in elections, hold public office, sponsor family members for immigration benefits and serve on a jury. You could not have these if you remain as a permanent resident. Pursuing citizenship through military service can give you many advantages.
If you are an immigrant serving in the U.S. military, you must consider naturalization through military service to become a U.S. citizen. While many of the requirements may seem intimidating, a naturalization lawyer can help guide you through each step and ensure that your application is completed correctly and submitted on time.
Application During Wartime
Any immigrant who enlists with the United States Armed Forces can apply for expedited naturalization. Because the United States is in a time of war, an immigrant—documented or undocumented—who serves in active-duty status may apply for quicker naturalization through military service.
Immigrants who enlist during a time of war can apply for naturalization after only one day of service and have the citizenship application fee waived. To apply for naturalization through military service, you must meet the other requirements for naturalization. It includes showing that you have good moral character and passing the English literacy and civics test. and swearing loyalty to the U.S. constitution by taking the Oath of Allegiance.
Generally, a person who is subject to a final order of removal is not allowed to naturalize. However, this rule does not apply to immigrants who naturalize through military service. To apply for naturalization through military service in a time of war, you must serve in active-duty status and honorably complete your term of service. If you do not honorably complete your term of service, you will lose your chance for citizenship.
Application During Peacetime
Immigrants may also apply for expedited naturalization through military service during peacetime. A service member applying for citizenship does not have to pay a fee. To apply for naturalization through military service during peacetime, you must meet the same requirements for naturalization during wartime. However, no requirement is needed for a minimum residency period in the United States.
You must have served for at least one year to apply for naturalization through military service during peacetime. You must apply for citizenship while still serving or within six months of leaving the service. You must show current honorable service if you apply while in the service. If you apply after leaving the service, you must show an honorable discharge.
Consulting with a naturalization lawyer can provide invaluable assistance when seeking U.S. citizenship through military service. They can help ensure that all the necessary paperwork is completed accurately and submitted on time. Also, they can guide you on how to apply for exceptions so you won’t have to comply with all the requirements, such as English proficiency and knowledge in the U.S. government and history.
Naturalization Of Widow Or Widower Of A Veteran
The surviving spouse of a United States citizen who died while serving honorably on active-duty status may apply for naturalization. Widows or widowers must meet certain eligibility criteria and apply with supporting documents to demonstrate their relationship, marital status, and military service record.
Aside from meeting the basic requirements for all naturalization applicants, such as age, residency, English proficiency, knowledge of U.S. history and government, and Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution. So for a surviving spouse of a U.S. veteran, you must meet additional criteria.
- You were married to your deceased spouse at the time of their death.
- Your deceased spouse was a United States citizen at the time of their death.
- You must have been living in a marital union with your deceased spouse for a minimum of five years immediately before his/her death.
- You must demonstrate that you are a person of good moral character.
If you meet these requirements, you may file Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service, along with supporting documents such as birth certificates and marriage licenses, relationship to your deceased spouse, and status as their widow or widower.
Your application will also need to include proof that your deceased spouse was an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces at the time of their death. It can consist of a discharge certificate or other official documents. A naturalization lawyer can guide you on the paperwork to accomplish so everything will be valid.
Once your application is received and approved, you will be issued a Certificate of Military or Naval Service (DD Form 214) if it is determined that your deceased spouse indeed served in the military. This document is proof of your eligibility for naturalization through military service and must be submitted with your naturalization application to USCIS.
No matter your situation, it’s always wise to consult with a naturalization lawyer before making any decisions. A naturalization lawyer will provide essential advice concerning any applications or documents that need to be completed to obtain U.S. citizenship through military service. They will also be able to ensure that everything is filed correctly and on time.
Additionally, they will work to ensure that all requirements are met as specified by federal law. With their help, you can be sure that all aspects related to this type of naturalization application are being taken care of properly and efficiently.
You’ll have a good chance of successfully obtaining U.S. citizenship through military service, so don’t hesitate to reach out for legal advice if you’re considering filing for naturalization in this way. Lincoln-Goldfinch Law can help you begin your new life as an American citizen.