USCIS Is Changing Military Member Naturalization Rules
Several years ago non-citizen United States Army soldiers who enlisted through the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (“MAVNI”) program sued the U.S. Army for being discharged without notice or an opportunity to respond. The MAVNI program enables certain non-U.S. citizens to enlist and serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, which entitles them to apply for expedited naturalization. The discharge affected their naturalization process because non-citizen military members who were honorably discharged and wanted to become U.S. citizens could apply to become U.S. citizens through naturalization at no cost.
The USCIS is now changing military member naturalization rules. The Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.) exempts members of the military and former service members from some of the citizenship requirements. Based on a Settlement Agreement in Calixto v. Department of the Army, Civ. A. No 18-1551 (P.L.F.) (D.D.C.), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will “provide guidance and instructions for Calixto class members who may be eligible to apply for military naturalization under section 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
Facts on Foreign Military Members And Naturalization
FWD.us is a bipartisan political organization. According to FWD.us:
- Approximately 700,000 foreign-born veterans, many of whom are now U.S. citizens, live in the U.S. today.
- There are about 45,000 immigrants actively serving in the U.S. military.
- About 5,000 legal permanent residents enlist each year.
- More than 148,000 immigrants have served and earned citizenship through the military in the last 20 years.
- Over the last century, military service has provided a pathway to American citizenship for more than 760,000 immigrant servicemembers.
Are You In the Military and Want to Become a U.S. Citizen?
Are you a military service member who needs help applying for citizenship and other benefits for your family? You 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.