For today’s FYI Friday, I wanted to forward along an interesting article from The Atlantic: Why Trump Should Embrace America’s Immigrant Soldiers, and talk a little bit about military service and citizenship.
A non-citizen who served honorably in the U.S. armed forces during “peacetime” may apply for naturalization. Such a person must be a lawful permanent resident at the time of the naturalization interview, have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years, have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months of the previous 5 years, and have served honorably in the military for at least 1 year, in addition to the other general requirements.
A non-citizen who served in the U.S. armed forces for any amount of time during periods of “hostility,” (which includes the time period from September 11, 2001 until present) may also apply for naturalization. Such a person need not be an LPR; he or she must only have been physically present in the U.S. at the time of enlistment.
In addition, service members are not charged N-400 filing fees or biometrics fees.
The MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest) program, referenced in the Atlantic article, is a special recruiting program that allows asylees, refugees, recipients of TPS, or even non-immigrant visa holders, to join the military and thereby gain eligibility for U.S. citizenship without a green card. The program is restricted to healthcare professionals or experts in certain languages, such as Arabic. The program is currently frozen pending further review.