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Military Naturalization

Military naturalization is a process that allows current and former members of the U.S. armed forces to become U.S. citizens…

Military naturalization is a process that allows current and former members of the U.S. armed forces to become U.S. citizens if they meet the qualifications.

Eligibility for Military Naturalization

To be eligible for military naturalization, a candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • An applicant must be currently serving or have served, honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least one year (or immediately if in a period of hostility – which we have been since 2001)
  • An applicant must be a lawful permanent resident at the time of their naturalization interview
  • An applicant must be at least 18 years old unless applying based on any period of wartime military service, in which case they may be any age
  • An applicant must demonstrate good moral character for at least five years before they file their N-400 form, through the day they naturalize

The Application Process

Many military installations have a designated U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) liaison at a local USCIS office who can help military personnel with the application process. As part of the naturalization process, applicants must pass a two-part naturalization test – an English language test that evaluates their reading, writing, and speaking skills and a civics test that assesses their knowledge of U.S. history and government.

Applicants need to complete the required Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. If they apply for naturalization based on a certain period or type of military service, they will not need to meet the “continuous presence” requirement. Also, an applicant can submit a naturalization application as early as 90 days before the required three or five years in permanent resident status has been reached.

Benefits of Military Naturalization

Becoming a U.S. citizen through military naturalization can provide a range of benefits, including the right to vote, gaining access to certain government jobs, and the ability to sponsor family members for immigration to the U.S. Some of the other benefits include:

  • Children of service members who are living overseas and on official orders (including those adopted by American parents) may become naturalized U.S. citizens by filing Form N-600K. These children do not have to travel to the U.S.
  • The spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen service member who died on active duty may be able to apply for citizenship under Section 319(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act

Military naturalization is an excellent way for current and former members of the U.S. armed forces to gain U.S. citizenship. The process has specific eligibility requirements, application procedures, and benefits. If you are interested in military naturalization, the team at US Immigration Law Counsel can also help you through this process, so that you can soon enjoy all the benefits that come with American citizenship.

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