Naturalization Information for Military Personnel
If you are a member (or veteran) of the U.S. Armed Forces and are interested in becoming a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship under special provisions provided for in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Generally, service in the U.S. Armed Forces means service in one of the following branches:
Recent changes in the relevant sections of the INA (Sections 328 and 329) make it easier for qualified military personnel and veterans to become U.S. citizens if they choose to file a naturalization application.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has created a streamlined process specifically for military personnel serving in active-duty status or have recently been discharged.
This brochure provides you with some basic information about the laws that govern citizenship for military personnel and the process you should follow to begin your journey to citizenship.
Do You Qualify?
There are general requirements and qualifications that must be met in order for you to become a U.S. citizen. These include:
Note: As a member of the military there are other naturalization requirements that you may be excepted from, including the required residency and physical presence in the United States. These exceptions are outlined in Sections 328 and 329 of the INA.
Immigration and Nationality Act Section 328, INA
This section applies to all members currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces or those who have already been honorably discharged from service.
Immigration and Nationality Act Section 329, INA
This section applies to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who currently serve or have served in active-duty status during authorized periods of conflict as outlined in the INA (WWI; September 1, 1939-December 31, 1946; June 25, 1950-July1, 1955; and February 28, 1961-October 5, 1978) or any additional period designated by the President in an Executive Order. This includes September 11, 2001 and after as an authorized period of conflict, which the President recently identified in an Executive Order.
Changes on October 1, 2004
Recent legislation has called for additional benefits to members of the military. These benefits will go into effect on October 1, 2004.
If You Qualify
Every military installation should have a designated point-of-contact to handle your application and certify your Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service (N-426). You should inquire through your chain of command to find out who this person is, so they can help you with your application packet.
Your point-of-contact will send your N-400, G325B, and certified N-426 to:
The Nebraska Service Center
PO Box 87426
Lincoln, NE 68501-7426
The Service Center will review your application and perform the necessary security checks. Then, they will send it to the district office closest to your location. If you have a preference as to where you would like to be interviewed, you can provide that information in a cover letter attached to your naturalization packet. The district office will set a date to interview you and test your knowledge of English and Civics. If granted, USCIS will inform you of the date you can take your oath of allegiance.
Forms you will need to complete and submit:
Forms and Handbooks
To get these forms, you can call the USCIS Form Line at: 1-800-870-3676 to request the "Military Packe" and obtain a copy of the handbook, "A Guide to Naturalization"
Spouses of U.S. Citizens Deployed Abroad
If you are married to a U.S. citizen who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and your citizen spouse is or will be deployed abroad by the Armed Forces for one year, you may be eligible for expedited naturalization under section 319(b) of the INA. For more information, please refer to the USCIS handbook, "A Guide to Naturalization" (page 22).
The INA allows for the awarding of posthumous citizenship to active-duty military personnel who die while serving in the Armed Forces. In addition, surviving family members seeking immigration benefits are given special consideration. To learn more, contact your military point-of-contact or the local district USCIS office.
Plan would impact retiree's benefits