Naturalization through Military Service: The Facts

Those who provide military services to the US risk their lives for the US and in appreciation for this, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the federal government make special citizenship provisions for members of the US military. In many cases, those who serve in the US military can apply for citizenship based on their military service. In many cases, current and recent members of the military can also have their naturalization applications expedited and can even have certain naturalization requirements (such as residency requirements) waived.

If you are current on active duty or have recently been discharged from the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, and wish to apply for US citizenship as a member of the military, you may qualify. You may also qualify if you are currently a part of or have recently been a part of some parts of the Ready Reserve, National Guard, or Selected Reserve. If you have a spouse and are eligible for naturalization through military service, your spouse may also enjoy expedited naturalization application and may even be able to complete the naturalization process abroad.

In order to become a US citizen through military service, you must be proficient in English and must be able to demonstrate that you have good moral character. You must also take an Oath of Allegiance to the US Constituent and must be able to show adequate knowledge of US civics. However, unlike other citizenship applicants, you will not need to establish a residence in the US. Since members of the US military often serve abroad, the USCIS makes the application process, citizenship interviews and naturalization ceremonies available outside the US to naturalization candidates applying though the US military. However, if you secure citizenship though your military service and are discharged dishonorably or otherwise leave service without “”honorable conditions”” you may have your citizenship revoked if you have not completed at least five years or honorable service.

Your eligibility requirements may also vary depending on when you apply for citizenship. If you serve in the military during peacetime, you must serve honorably for one year. If you serve during periods of hostilities, you can apply for naturalization right away. Eligible members of the military can also apply for citizenship after completing basic training. To apply, you must file the naturalization application packet, which is available to members of the military. There is no fee for members of the military to apply.