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Naturalization for Military Personnel

There are special provisions provided in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for members of the US Armed Forces who wish to become US citizens. You may qualify to apply for naturalization under such provisions. Service in the US Armed Forces generally means service in one of the following :

• Army

• Navy

• Marine Corps

• Air Force

• Coast Guard

• National Guard

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a process specifically designed for military personnel who file under the military naturalization provisions.

To become a US citizen, there are certain requirements that you should satisfy. These include:

• having good moral character

• having enough knowledge of the English language

• having basic knowledge of US government and history (civics)

• Demonstrate attachment to the principles of the US Constitution

• Taking the Oath of Allegiance

Per the provisions, as a member of the military, there are certain citizenship requirements that you need not satisfy. It simply means that those may not apply to you, including the required periods of residence and physical presence in the US (these are mandatory for others). These exceptions are outlined in sections 328 and 329 of the INA.

If you satisfy all the requirements in either section 328 or 329, you may apply for naturalization under either section. You need not pay any submission fees for your citizenship application.

Section 328 of the INA :

Section 328 applies to you if you are currently serving in the US Armed Forces OR if you recently separated from service. You may qualify if you:

  • served honorably, in active duty or reserve service, for a year or more.
  • are a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).
  • apply while in service or within six months after being separated.

Section 329 of the INA :

Section 329 applies to you if you are currently serving OR a veteran who served in an active-duty status or in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve during designated periods of conflict. The designated periods of conflict are:

  • 6 April, 1917–11 November, 1918
  • 1 September, 1939–31 December, 1946
  • 25 June, 1950–1 July, 1955
  • 28 February, 1961–15 October, 1978
  • 11 September, 2001–present.

The current period of designation stays in effect until the US President issues an Executive Order ending the designation.

You may qualify if you:

  • served honorably in the US Armed Forces during an authorized period of conflict.
  • after enlistment, were lawfully admitted as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), OR at the time of enlistment, re-enlistment, or induction, were physically present in the US or a qualifying area.

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