Friday, April 20, 2012

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is keeping up with the times by streamlining their application and naturalization procedures for military personnel. This applies to those on active duty and recently discharged.

Generally speaking if you are in one the following areas of service, you will qualify: Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Army, some members of the National Guard (ask an immigration lawyer about this) and the selected reserve of the Ready Reserve.

There are some requirements you need to meet prior to becoming a US citizen. Those requirements are be of good moral character, know the English language and the US government and history and take the oath of allegiance.

If you are qualified, then you are exempt from other naturalization rules - including residency and a physical presence in the US. One thing to note about his area of immigration law is that if you are discharged from the Armed Forces for any reason other than under "honorable conditions" before serving five years, you may have your citizenship revoked.

You might not know this, as it is another consequence of 9/11. Immigrants who have served active duty on or after 9/11 are able to file for immediate citizenship under the special wartime provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This section also covers other veterans. Ask a knowledgeable immigration lawyer about this.

The other section that may be applicable in your circumstance is if you have already been discharged. To qualify for citizenship the requirements are: honorable service of at least one year, permanent resident status, have filed your application within 6 months of leaving the service or while still in the service.

There are other areas of immigration law that will apply to you and your special circumstances. To find out what those are, you need to speak to an attorney familiar with the laws who will assist you during your application process. Immigration law changes all the time and doing things for yourself will not always work.


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