Advantages Of Applying For Citizenship Through Military Service
There are three main advantages for foreign-born service members who apply for U.S. citizenship:
- Shorter residency requirements. Typically, applicants must reside within the United States as a lawful permanent resident for five continuous years, or three years if theyre married to a U.S. citizen, before they can apply to become a U.S. citizen. At most, eligible foreign-born service members only need one year of honorable service before they can file their Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
- No state-of-residence requirement. Civilian applicants must live in the state or service district where they file their Form N-400 for a minimum of three months. Eligible foreign-born service members do not need to meet this requirement.
- Waived application fees. Between the naturalization application and fingerprinting fees, civilian applicants pay almost $800 to become a U.S. citizen. Foreign-born service members are not required to pay the application fee, but spouses must do so.
Establishing Eligibility To File Form N
As a permanent resident who is married to a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible for naturalization after just three years. This is a significant benefit .
To qualify, you must have lived in the U.S. continuously for the three years immediately preceding the date you file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. You must be married to a citizen the entire time and your spouse must have been a U.S. citizen for the entire time. The Immigration and Nationality Act ) details all of the citizenship requirements for a 3-year permanent resident married to a U.S. citizen. We break it down in simple terms here.
Requirements For Joining The Military
The U.S. military has six branches of service: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Space Force. The requirements to join are similar for all six. The main differences are in age limits, test scores, and fitness levels. Men and women meet different fitness standards. Besides the requirements listed here, a branch may have other requirements.
Age Limits for Enlisting
You must be at least 17 to enlist in any branch of the active military. The oldest you can be to enlist for active duty in each branch is:
Coast Guard: 31
Air Force: 39
Space Force: 39
Some branches have different age limits for their part-time Reserve and National Guard. Visit each service’s recruiting website for its part-time age limits.
Requirements for Enlisting If You Are Not a U.S. Citizen
You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to enlist in the military, but you may have fewer options. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must:
Have a permanent resident card, also known as a Green Card
Currently live in the U.S.
Speak, read, and write English fluently
Educational and Testing Requirements for Enlisting
Your scores on four of those make up your Armed Forces Qualification Test score. This score determines which branch you may join. Each branch has its own lowest score for joining.
Your scores on all 10 subtests determine which job specialties you qualify for.
Don’t Miss: Does Cox Have Military Discount
Enlisting With A Green Card
A green card by itself does not let you join the U.S. Army. You must be living in the U.S., and be able to speak, read and write English fluently. You must also meet the same requirements all Army recruits face:
- You are at least 17-years-old and no older than 35. That applies to regular Army, reserves and the National Guard.
- You are in good health.
- You have a high school diploma, though a GED may suffice.
- You pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test.
- If you want to become an officer, you must be a college graduate.
If you have a disqualifying condition such as health problems or a criminal record, you can ask the Army to waive it. There is no guarantee you will get a waiver, but there is no cost for making the request.
Why Would You Want To Join The Military As A Non
Joining the Military allows you to take part in something bigger than yourself.
In every branch of the Military, you will complete basic physical training and technical training that helps you become mentally and physically stronger.
The different branches of the Military provide technical training that directly relates to almost any civilian career position.
When you join the Military you will be provided with pay, insurance, paid sick-time, retirement, paid vacation and education tuition assistance.
The overall benefits that the Military offers are not available in most civilian positions.
As a non-citizen you will learn valuable tools to help you be successful in life.
Ask Stew: Joining The Us Military Or Special Ops From A Foreign Country
Though this question is not focused on physical fitness preparation for the military, I hear from enough people who are non-citizens, as well as Green Card holders, that its worth me giving a good answer with plenty of reference sites to help with that journey.
Mr. Smith, I am a longtime reader of your articles on Military.com-Military Fitness, and they have helped me with my training. I am a kid from the Philippines and have been wanting to join the United States military for a long time. I work out all the time and am reaching U.S. military fitness standards as I want to prepare myself for ArmySpecial Forces. Is there a chance that I can become a member of Army Special Operations Command as a Green Beret? Can foreigners serve in the military in America? — Thanks, Serge
I hope you can become a U.S. citizen one day, since that is a requirement for military jobs that require a security clearance. You cannot get a top-secret security clearance as a non-citizen, but you can join the military with a green card.
I usually leave the rest of this answer to the initiative of the person asking the question, as this is not at all my area of expertise. But after some research into this topic, I found answers to the typical follow-on questions, such as how one gets a green card and how one becomes a U.S citizen.
According to USA.gov, here are the requirements for non-citizens to join the military:
This Program Is Still In Flux And Is In The Courts: Https: //wwwwashingtonpostcom/local/public
Certain immigration benefits may be available to members of the U.S. armed forces and/or their immediate relatives. Unauthorized aliens may consider joining the military as a way to procuring status, but it is not a simple path.
Undocumented immigrants are generally barred from serving in the military, though occasionally an undocumented person might be allowed to join the armed forces in spite of this rule.
What is selective service? Should I sign up if I am undocumented?
The Selective Service means the military draft. Generally, all male residents between the ages of 18 and 26 must sign up.
The U.S. government considers you a resident even though you are undocumented, and even though undocumented immigrants cannot join the U.S. military. Therefore, according to the Selective Service, you should register within 30 days of your 18th birthday. Late registrations are accepted, but you can not register after age 26.
If you do not register, it could delay a future citizenship application until you are at least 31. Details about how to register are at the Selective Service website. There is a story here about the recent effort to encourage undocumented men to sign up.
There is no requirement to register for the draft as part of the DACA application, but DACA recipients should register so as not to jeopardize any future relief.
If I join the military, will I get citizenship?
Read Also: Can Autistic People Join The Military
Posthumous Citizenship For Military Members
Generally, individuals who served honorably in an active-duty status in the U.S. armed forces during a specified period of military hostilities and died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by that service may be eligible for posthumous citizenship under section 329A of the INA.
Remember That Following Service In A Foreign Military
Remember that following service in a foreign military it may be more difficult to apply for a job with the U.S. government, especially in sensitive or high-security positions like intelligence work or the military. Jobs with American companies working on certain sophisticated technologies could also become inaccessible.
You May Like: Rural King Veterans Discount
Learn What Special Immigration Rights Are Extended To The Families Of Those Serving In The Us Military
By Ilona Bray, J.D.
If you are a native of another country, and are the close relative of someone who is serving in the U.S. military, you may be interested to know your rights under U.S. immigration laws. By military service we mean active or reserve duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard, or in a National Guard unit while the unit was federally recognized as a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces.
You might also be interested in reading U.S. Citizenship Rights for U.S. Military Personnel and Veterans to find out what rights your serviceperson relative is in line for. If, for example, serving in the military qualifies your family member for immediate or expedited U.S. citizenship, that person may then be able to sponsor you to receive a U.S. green card .
How Do I Sign Up
In order to sign up for the Russian Armed Forces, you have to go to an enlistment office in any Russian city. And if your documents and paperwork are good and you have no legal issues back home, youll sign a contract, proceed through a medical exam, pass psychological tests and will then be sent to a military unit best suited for a person with your skills and qualifications.
If using any of Russia Beyond’s content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.
Don’t Miss: Sears Military Discount Code
Can I Become A Us Citizen
If you are serving or have served in the U.S. armed forces and are interested in becoming a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act . Read more on the Naturalization Through Military Service website. Make an appointment with a Legal Assistance attorney for additional assistance.
Armed Forces Around The World That Allow Foreigners To Join Them
Joining the military is the dream of a lot of people. To wear the uniform, train hard and serve the nation from the front is a matter of utmost pride and honour. Every year, millions of people apply for a job with the armed forces of their nations. But did you know that a lot of these forces around the world also recruit foreign nationals?
You read it right. Countries like India, USA, France and Britain recruit citizens of other nations into their army. Putting other criteria like age, height, weight, etc. aside, here is a list of countries who welcome foreigners into their armed forces.
The Indian army recruits citizens of Nepal and Bhutan. Also, refugees from Tibet and people of Indian origin from nations like Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Vietnam with an intention of permanently settling in India can also join the Indian army.
Read Also: Sears Military Discount
Your Military Service Offers A Faster Track To Us Citizenship
The information contained on this website is designed to educate and inform service members and their families on their personal legal affairs. Nothing contained in the website is a substitute for the competent legal advice of a licensed attorney. Service members and their families seeking legal advice should consult the staff of the nearest installation Legal Assistance Office.
Every year, thousands of foreign-born service members and their family members become naturalized U.S. citizens. Learn more about steps to become a U.S. citizen and how you can use your military service to speed up the process and save money on processing fees.
Can Daca Youth Enlist
Currently, no. In 2012, the Obama administration launched a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that gives limited immigration benefits to individuals who entered the U.S. as children.
Although individuals in the DACA program are authorized to work, they cannot join the military. There may be exceptions under the MAVNI program in the future, but not currently. Hopefully Congress, which has now been assigned the task of determining the future of the DACA program, will create more wiggle room for those interested in enlisting.
You May Like: Sears Discounts For Veterans
Advice About Possible Loss Of Us Nationality And Foreign Military Service
A U.S. national who is a resident or citizen of a foreign country may be subject to compulsory military service in that country. Although the United States recognizes the problems that may be caused by such foreign military service, there is nothing that we can do to prevent it since each sovereign country has the right to enact its own laws on military service and apply them as it sees fit to its citizens and residents.
Federal statutes long in force prohibit certain aspects of foreign military service originating within the United States. The current laws are set forth in Section 958-960 of Title 18 of the United States Code. In Wiborg v. U.S. , 163 U.S. 632 , the Supreme Court endorsed a lower court ruling that it was not a crime under U.S. law for an individual to go abroad for the purpose of enlisting in a foreign army however, when someone has been recruited or hired in the United States, a violation may have occurred. The prosecution of persons who have violated 18 U.S.C. 958-960 is the responsibility of the Department of Justice.
See also information flyers on related subject available via the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page. These flyers include:
List Of Militaries That Recruit Foreigners
This is a list of militaries that recruit foreign applicants. This includes any individuals who are aliens of the polity whose armed forces they are being recruited to join by professional recruiters. The foreigners need not be legal residents of that nation, but may gain legal residence status by joining the armed forces. More than 90 states have implemented such recruitment policies between 1815 and 2020.
Read Also: Cox Military Discounts
More Information About Us Citizenship And Immigration Services
Special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act state: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may expedite the application and naturalization process for current members of the U.S. armed forces and recently discharged service members. Qualifying military service includes serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and National Guard. In addition, spouses of members of the U.S. armed forces who are or will be deployed may be eligible for expedited naturalization. Other provisions of the law also allow certain spouses to complete the naturalization process abroad.
Proving You Are A Citizen
For reasons of national security it’s important you can verify your Australian citizenship.
The evidence you are required to demonstrate Australian citizenship may differ depending on whether you were:
- born outside Australia
- born in Australia before 20 August 1986
- born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986
Recommended Reading: Petco Veterans Discount
Can Immigrants Serve In The Us Military
Yes! Each year about 8,000 non-citizens join the U.S. military. A 2011 study found that roughly 4 percent of those enlisted in active-duty military service are non-citizens. Generally, if a person is not a U.S. citizen, he needs to be a green card holder, i.e., a lawful permanent resident, to join the military. As discussed below, however, there are other ways a non-citizen could qualify to serve.
Special Opportunities And Exceptions That Apply To Immigrants Who Are Members Of The Us Military
By Ilona Bray, J.D.
The Immigration and Nationality Act allows people born in other countries to gain U.S. citizenship through U.S. military servicein some cases without going through the usual preliminary step of getting a U.S. green card . This is a highly unusual possibility almost no one else can apply for citizenship without having held a green card for several years. The exact legal requirements depend on whether you served in the military during peace or war time.
Also Check: Does The Military Accept Autistic
My Spouse Was Admitted In A Conditional Status How Do I Get That Changed To Unconditional
If you received your conditional permanent resident status through marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or being admitted to the United States as a fiancé of a U.S. citizen , your conditional permanent residents status is valid for only two years and cannot be renewed. You must file a petition to remove conditions on permanent resident status, or risk losingyour lawful status.
For additional instructions on how to remove your condition status, speak with an attorney at a Region Legal Service Office and consult the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services instructions to Remove My Conditional Status.
Not All Militaries Accept Americans
Whether for financial reasons, religious affiliation, adventure, sightseeing or a change in residency, here are a few militaries abroad that accept and sometimes actively recruit U.S. citizens to serve. Most will require foreign recruits to know or to learn their language within a certain time period .
After serving for a contractually-mandated time period, soldiers in a foreign military may be eligible to attain permanent residency status in the country they’re serving, if they wish.
You May Like: Does Cox Offer A Military Discount