Expedited Citizenship for Military Personnel

Through the special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the USCIS can expedite the naturalization process for members currently in the US armed forces and also for members who were recently discharged. Spouses of members of the US armed forces may also qualify for expedited naturalization process. Certain spouses are also permitted to complete the naturalization process outside the US.

Unlike other naturalization applicants, a member of the US armed forces needs to meet only a few eligibility requirements. You should have a good moral character, have knowledge of the English language and US government and history (civics). Finally, you have to demonstrate attachment to the US by taking an Oath of Allegiance. You need not fulfill other naturalization requirements, which includes satisfying the residence and physical presence in the US.

Your entire naturalization process, applications, interviews and ceremonies will be conducted abroad. Note that if you got American citizenship through your military service but came away from the military due to reasons other honorable conditions before completing five years of service, you may have your citizenship revoked. To qualify for naturalization, you should have served honorably in the US armed forces for at least one year. In addition, you should be a lawful permanent resident and filed your application while still in the service or within six months of leaving.

An executive order was signed by the president and it authorized all non citizens who served honorably in the US armed forces on or after Sept. 11, 2001, to file for citizenship immediately. Other veterans of some designated wars and conflicts in the past are also included.

All military installations have a particular point-of-contact to help the military members in filing their application package. Form N-400,Application for Naturalization and Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service have to be filed. There is no filing fee for military personnel. Note that the military have to certify Form N-426 before sending it to the USCIS. If you are not with the military at present, you can an uncertified Form N-426 along with DD Form 214. You can send the completed application package to the specialized military naturalization unit at the USCIS Nebraska Service Center for expedited processing.

You can get help from the USCIS customer service specialists. You can either contact the toll-free telephone help line 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645) or send an email to the military customer service specialist at: militaryinfo.nsc@dhs.gov.

Posthumous citizenship is granted to certain members of the US armed forces. If a US armed forces member who served honorably during a particular period of hostility and subsequently died due to injury or disease incurred during that period may receive posthumous citizenship. In this case, the next-of-kin should apply for posthumous citizenship within two years of the person’s death.

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