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Military Personnel Becoming U.S. Citizens

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Can Noncitizen Members of the Military Become Citizens?

Yes. Members of the military who are not citizens, as well as their family members, may be eligible to apply for citizenship.

Who Is Considered a Member of the U.S. Armed Forces?

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces include people in who serve in one of the following branches:

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Marine Corps
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • Some Reserve components of the National Guard
  • Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve

Who Qualifies to Become a U.S. Citizen?

To become a U.S. citizen, there are certain requirements that everyone must meet. These requirements include:

  • Good moral character
  • Knowledge of the English language
  • Knowledge of the U.S. government and history
  • Attached to the U.S. by taking an oath of allegiance to the U.S. Constitution

What Other Requirements Are There?

Those who are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, or whom were discharged from service must have:

How Do I Apply for Citizenship?

If a member of the military is plan on obtaining citizenship, they must apply for naturalization while still in service or within six months of being discharged. As a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, they do not have to file any fees when applying for citizenship and can apply even if stationed abroad.

What If a Family Member Died While Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces?

If requested, the United States will award posthumous citizenship to military personnel who died while serving. Moreover, family members of the deceased person will be given special consideration whenever applying for immigration status.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, and would like to apply for citizenship, an immigration attorney can ensure you meet the qualifications and have the necessary documentation to complete your application. If a family member died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, an attorney can determine if you may be entitled to special benefits when applying for immigration. 

Photo of page author Matthew Izzi

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 08-25-2014 03:39 PM PDT

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