May is designated as National Military Appreciation Month to recognize and honor all U.S. service members – including active military members and former service members who are not United States citizens. Here are three facts about immigrants in the military.
1. You do not have to be a United States citizen to serve in the U.S. military
Non-citizens are eligible to serve in the U.S. military if they meet all other qualifications. Military applicants who are not citizens must have valid alien registration forms, such as an I-551 or a green card.
2. Honorable service does not guarantee approval for naturalization
Naturalization through serving in the U.S. military is a strong demonstration of good moral character and qualifications to become a U.S. citizen – but it doesn’t guarantee it. According to USCIS, in the third quarter of FY 2019, 1 in 5 (20%) of military applications were denied, twice the rate for civilian denials.
3. Immigration fees may be waived for service members
Naturalization fees, fingerprinting and other immigration fees can be expensive. Foreign-born service members are not required to pay immigration application fees, but their spouses are.
Military service members who need help applying for citizenship and other benefits for their families should seek guidance from an experienced immigration and naturalization attorney. The immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Chicago and Oak Brook, Illinois can help you with your immigration case. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at 630-912-0322.