Who can qualify for naturalization based on military service?
There are two different ways to qualify for naturalization based on military service: during peacetime or during designated periods of hostilities.
Service in Peacetime
This applies to all members of the U.S. armed forces and those discharged. Applicants will qualify if:
- He/she has served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least one year;
- He/she has obtained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status; and
- He/she filed an application for naturalization while still in the military or within 6 months of discharge from the military.
Service during Hostilities
This applies to all noncitizens who have served honorably in the U.S. armed forces during designated wars and conflicts. Currently, any person who has served honorably in the U.S. armed forces since September 11, 2001 is authorized to immediately apply for citizenship. Other designated periods of hostilities are:
- World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)
- World War II (September 1, 1939 – December 31, 1946)
- Korea (June 25, 1950 – July 1, 1955)
- Vietnam (February 28, 1961 – October 15, 1978)
- Persian Gulf (August 2, 1990 – April 11, 1991)
What kinds of military service qualify for naturalization through military service?
Generally, qualifying service includes service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and National Guard.
I am currently a member of the U.S. military. Is the naturalization process different?
Yes. Naturalization applicants who are currently in the U.S. military should submit the N-400, as well as Form N-426. This is a certification of the applicant’s military service. Current members of the military must have the N-426 certified by the military before submitting his/her application.
I am a veteran of the U.S. military. Is the naturalization process different?
Yes. Like current members of the U.S. military, veterans should submit Form N-426 with his/her N-400 application. For veterans, Form N-426 should not be certified and instead, the applicant must also submit a copy of his/her discharge documents, DD Form 214 or NGB Form 22.
My spouse is a member of the U.S. military and we are stationed abroad. Is the process different?
Yes. A spouse of a current member of the military is not required to meet the physical presence and residence requirements in the U.S. to apply for naturalization. However, you must meet all of the other requirements for naturalization.
Am I required to pay the application fee if I am a current or former member of the military?
No. Members of the military are exempt from the $680 application fee.
Where do I send my application?
All military naturalization applications should be sent to the Nebraska Service Center, regardless of where the applicant lives.
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
P.O. Box 87426
Lincoln, NE 68501-7426
I have more questions about my military service and applying for citizenship. Who can I contact?
Military members and their families can call the Military Help Line at 1-877-247-4645 with questions about the process. You may also contact USCIS by sending an email to the military customer service specialists at [email protected]