immigrants in the military

Immigrants in the Military

Immigrants in the Military

Since the Revolutionary War, immigrants have been a vital part of the United States military. In fact each year about 8,000 non-citizens enlist in the U.S. armed forces. According to the U.S. Defense Department, there are currently 30,000-plus non-citizens serving on active duty. More than 4,100 of these dedicated soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in all branches of the U.S. military. Since September 2002, USCIS has naturalized over 107,000 members of the military. The top two countries of origin for foreign-born military personnel are the Philippines and Mexico.

Parole in Place
 

Parole in Place helps the undocumented spouse and children of U.S. military service members.

Expedited
U.S. Citizenship

Service members and some family members are eligible for expedited naturalization benefits.

Selective
Service

Overview of the Selective Service System and it’s relevance to the naturalization process.

MAVNI
 

MAVNI program allows certain non-citizens in the United States to join the military.


 

“[Immigrant soldiers and marines] are extremely dependable … some 8, 9, or 10 percent fewer immigrants wash out of our initial training programs than do those who are currently citizens. Some 10 percent or more than those who are currently citizens complete their first initial period of obligated service to the country.”

Marine General Peter Pace
testimony before Congress about the importance of immigrants in the military

 

Citizenship Requirements for U.S. Armed Forces

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Continuous Residence & Physical Presence

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How to Prepare for U.S. Citizenship Test & Interview

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Additional Military Resources

USCIS has established a toll-free military help line, 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645), exclusively for members of the military and their families. USCIS customer service specialists are available to answer calls Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (CST), excluding federal holidays.

U.S. Military Articles