Integrity Legal

20th Feb 2010

United States Citizenship is a substantial benefit for many foreign nationals and naturalization is something that many Immigrants in the United States take very seriously. This author recently came upon a publication promulgated by the US Army in which information is provided regarding US Citizenship for Lawful Permanent Residents and Conditional Lawful Permanent Residents who opt to enlist in the Army. The following is a direct quote from that publication.

“Welcome to the United States Army! You are either a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or a Conditional Lawful Permanent Resident (CPR) who has enlisted in the US Army. As a non-US citizen enlisting in wartime, you are eligible to apply for naturalization under Immigration & Nationality Act Section 329 on your first day of active duty, if you so desire. The Army wants you to obtain your U.S. citizenship so that you can use your skills to achieve the Army mission. Obtaining US citizenship will allow you to move into more responsible jobs, open up new career fields, and even allow you to become an officer.”

Although the US Immigration and Nationality Act provides expedited naturalization for those in the military, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is still required to adjudicate Naturalization applications. To quote the aforementioned publication further:

“The Army does not decide, however, whether you can become a US citizen. You must file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization (citizenship) with United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). USCIS must process your application and decide whether it can be approved.”

This being said, all organizations concerned will strive to see that an enlisted lawful permanent resident’s application for naturalization is processed as quickly as possible.

“United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) works with the Army to process citizenship applications during Basic Combat Training (BCT). USCIS and the Army will try to ensure that all non-citizen Soldiers take their oath of citizenship prior to or concurrent with graduation from BCT. USCIS officers are present at each of the five BCT sites on a weekly basis to collect citizenship packets, interview and test Soldiers, and administer oaths. Soldiers should bring a completed citizenship packet to BCT and be prepared to take the citizenship test there. Please note that neither USCIS nor the Army guarantees any Soldier US Citizenship, or that the Soldier will receive citizenship prior to graduation from BCT.”

Although military service does not guarantee United States Citizenship it is admirable that the United States military as well as the USCIS go to great lengths to see that naturalization applications for enlisted personnel are processed in an efficient and timely manner.

For more on American Immigration please see: US Visa Thailand.

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