By Nimsy Garcia on 25 Sept 2021
Last updated on 5 Jan 2022
If you have served or are serving in the US military, you and/or your spouse may be eligible for expedited US citizenship.
You must be able to read, write, and speak Basic English
You must know US history and government
You must be a person of good moral character
You must have an attachment to the principles of the US Constitution
You must be willing to take an Oath of Allegiance
Unlike a non-military or “civilian” naturalization, other standard eligibility requirements may be waived.
In other words, a current or former member of the US Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and any Reserve Component or the National Guard may be eligible to naturalize even if they:
Are UNDER the age of 18
Do NOT have lawful permanent residency (are not green card holders)
Do NOT have continuous permanent residency in the US
Do NOT have a physical presence in the US
Do NOT have state or district residency in the US
Another advantage is that military members may be able to apply for US citizenship after 1 year of military service or immediately.
Free (There is no USCIS application or biometrics fee for military members)
As a veteran, I strongly support my fellow comrades and provide naturalization assistance to current and former military members at a discounted rate.
Unique to military naturalizations, my services include obtaining necessary documents from your chain of command, making sense of military records, filing your naturalization application, assisting with the expedition of biometrics, and providing guidance for the naturalization interview.
It's recommended to speak to an experienced attorney in immigration and military matters if the following special circumstances apply.
You might already be a US citizen if either of your parents were citizens by birth or naturalization before you turned 18 years old.
You (and your spouse, if applicable) may be eligible for expedited or overseas naturalization if you (or your spouse) serve abroad, are deployed, or are about to deploy.
The Pacific Islands boast some of the largest US enlistment rates per capita. Still, many military members from the Pacific face unique logistical and legal challenges regarding accessing their military immigration benefits. In May 2021, I became the point of contact for military immigration matters for over 3,000 Soldiers in the US Army Pacific Command. I worked with USCIS to set up virtual interviews and oath ceremonies for Soldiers in American Samoa and Guam. This invaluable experience taught me how to help Soldiers overcome obstacles related to fingerprinting, and USCIS interviews and communications.
With that said - If you are a citizen of a US territory such as the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau and serve or have served in the US Armed Forces, you may be eligible for US citizenship (even without a green card!). US nationals from American Samoa and Swain's Island may also be eligible for naturalization.
Unfortunately, some military members have experienced delays in their naturalization application processing. Current delays may be related to the Trump administration policies and/or Covid-19.
If you submitted your naturalization application and are experiencing an unreasonable delay, contact me to discuss the legal options available to get this resolved.
A military member that naturalizes under a military naturalization may lose their US citizenship for "bad conduct." This means US citizenship may be revoked if the military member fails to serve honorably for five years after naturalizing.
If you are concerned that your US citizenship may be revoked, you should consider speaking to an immigration attorney.
Military vs. Civilian Naturalization
There are different advantages to a civilian (non-military) and military naturalization. It is important to talk to an immigration attorney to understand the differences between each application process and the to determine the best option for your specific situation.