Changes to the Expedited Naturalization Process for Military Service Members

October 2017 Department of Defense Policies Impacting Lawful Permanent Residents and Other Non-U.S. Citizens Serving in the Military

Introduction 

Federal law provides certain members of the U.S. Armed Forces the opportunity for expedited citizenship.  Expedited citizenship for military service members waives the continuous residence and physical presence requirements for naturalization, as well as the N-400 filing fee.  Two sections of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) govern naturalization of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and other immigrants serving in the Armed Forces. Under INA § 328, which applies during periods of peacetime, LPRs can apply for naturalization after one year of military service.  Under INA § 329 and implementing regulations, LPRs and other noncitizens who served honorably during a designated period of hostilities can apply for naturalization once the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) certifies the member’s service as honorable.

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