Since some qualified immigrants serve in the US Armed Forces, the US government has made special provisions for these brave foreign nationals who choose to risk their lives for the US. That is, the USCIS allows active duty members of the Armed Forces to seek green cards, immigration status, and even citizenship on the basis of their military service. In 2008, for example, the USCIS naturalized 7,854 members of the US military. About 1,509 of these individuals were naturalized overseas and 6,345 were naturalized in the US. In addition to these numbers, more received immigration status or permanent residency in the US due to their service.
Green card military applicants, immigration military applicants, and citizenship military applicants make up only a small number of USCIS applicants each year. Partly, this is because only some non-US citizens are qualified to serve in the US Armed Forces. In general, under 1% of all naturalizations occur because the applicant was a member of the US Armed Forces and qualified for naturalization through that method.
Nevertheless, out of respect for the contributions of these men and women who serve the US Armed Forces, the US government does allow specific advantages to applicants who apply due to their military service. For example, members of the military who wish to become US citizens often qualify based largely on their military participation. That is, they often do not need to prove permanent residency first. As well, applications for green card military applicants, immigration military applicants, and citizenship military applicants are often expedited. These applicants face fewer delays as well as fewer restrictions than other applicants. For example, they often do not have to wait for limited visa numbers to immigrate to the US.
In addition to these benefits, the USCIS also allows members of the US military to receive posthumous citizenship in some cases. For example, in 2008, 118 members of the US military received posthumous US citizenship. For non-US citizens who are members of the US military, the USCIS also offers special Family Based Survivor Benefits. Essentially, these benefits allow surviving family members to receive benefits as well as potentially citizenship if a family member served in the US military.
Members of the US military also get other USCIS benefits. For example, members of the US military can usually sponsor their families for green cards, and in some cases this processes is expedited due to the risks that the members of the US military take and the sacrifices they make for the US.