Military Recruits Skilled Immigrants with Temporary U.S. Visas

The Pentagon has reinstated a program to recruit skilled immigrants with temporary U.S. Visas to the Army.

The name of the program is the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, or MAVNI. It was active in 2009 and suspended in 2010 due to a broad security review. It has been put back in place because military officials are looking for people with special language or medical skills.

A relatively small program, the military is interested in recruiting 1,500 legal immigrants each year, for two years.

They are looking for native speakers of 44 languages, including Cambodian-Khmer; Persian Dari, which is spoken in Afghanistan; and Portuguese. Spanish is not one of the languages needed.

Legal immigrants are immigrants with temporary visas. Usually, entrance into the army is only open to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents with immigrant visas.

MAVNI will benefit legal immigrants with temporary visas because the program will grant them U.S. citizenship through naturalization at the end of 10 weeks, which is the end of basic training.

The program is not open to undocumented immigrants. They are still not allowed to enlist in any of the branches of the military.

In order for you to qualify, you have to have the following requirements:

  • You must have been legally living in the United States for at least two years.
  • You must have graduated high school.
  • You must pass the entrance test.

Many are excited to see this program reinstated. A petition to bring back the program on Facebook during its suspended period garnered a great deal of support from interested parties. The support is most likely driven by the speedy access to American citizenship that military service brings.