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Citizenship for Foreign-Born Children of Active Military Members | Immigration Attorney Mario Godoy

Citizenship for Foreign-Born Children of Active Military Members

On March 26, President Trump signed into law the Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act, P.L. 116-133, which establishes that

a foreign-born child of a U.S. citizen member of the Armed Forces or Government employee stationed abroad may automatically acquire U.S. citizenship even if the child is not residing in the United States

In August 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it was tightening restrictions on how it defines “residence,” a key part of immigration law for the status of children born abroad to U.S. citizens, including active military members stationed abroad, if the parents do not meet certain other requirements.

Citizenship for Military Members

Military servicemen and women make substantial sacrifices in order to protect U.S. soil. Foreign-born members of the military are in a special category, as they fight to defend a country that may not yet recognize them as citizens. Fortunately, U.S. immigration law offers military members certain benefits for their service.

There are three main benefits a military member gains when applying for naturalization;

1. No filing fee is required. The USCIS filing fee is waived for military service members.

2. No proof of “physical presence” is required.

3. “Continuous residence” requirements are reduced.

The spouse and children of military members can also be eligible for naturalization benefits.

1. The spouse of a military member who is living overseas with his or her deployed partner can potentially waive the physical presence and continuous residence requirements, expediting their naturalization process.

2. Within two years of the loved one’s death, the surviving spouse, children, and parents can petition for a green card based on their relationship with the now-deceased U.S. military member.

Military service members who want help applying for green cards for military families should seek guidance from an experienced immigration and naturalization attorney if they have a question or need help with the process. The immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Chicago and Lombard can help you with your immigration case. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at 855-554-6369.   

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