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DOD increases naturalization requirements for military service

  1. Original Date Announced

    October 13, 2017

    DOD requires military branches to certify that the non-citizen service member has: (1) passed security screening, (2) completed basic military training, and (3) served for at least 180 days of active duty before they are eligible for honorable service characterization. Service members must receive this honorable service characterization to submit USCIS Form N-426 (Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service), which qualifies them for an expedited path to U.S. citizenship. The memoranda also requires decertification for service members awaiting citizenship who have not met these new requirements.

    [ID #612]

    DoD News Release: DoD Announces Policy Changes to Lawful Permanent Residents and the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MANVI) Pilot Program DOD Memorandum: Certification of Honorable Service for Members of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and Members of the Active Components of the Military or Naval Forces for Purposes of Naturalization
  2. Effective Date

    October 13, 2017

Current Status

Not in effect

Original Trump Policy Status

Trump Administration Action: Agency Directive
Subject Matter: Citizenship
Agencies Affected: USCIS DOD

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • October 13, 2017

    Previously, DOD practice had been to certify service members' service requirements for the purposes of USCIS Form N-426 following enlistment and after "as little a few days in boot camp." Past policy allowed service members to naturalize more quickly. In addition, LPRs used to be able to ship to initial miltiary training as long as they had initiated their background security check. Now that check must be completed before they start training.

    DOD News Article: DoD Announces Policies Affecting Foreign Nationals Entering Military

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