Naturalization for the Military U.S. Citizenship People become U.S. citizens in one of two ways: •Birth in the United States or abroad to U.S. citizen parents, or •Naturalization United States or U.S. Territories •United States (& territorial water, air space) •Guam •American Samoa •Swains Island •Virgin Island •Puerto Rico Naturalization for Military Personnel • Army • Navy • Marine Corp • Air Force • Coast Guard • Certain Reserve components of the National Guard • Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve Statistics • 2008: 6,179 members of military were naturalized • Since September 2001: 41,000 members of military have been naturalized 117 grants of posthumous citizenship • 5% of U.S. military is foreign born (1/2 are naturalized U.S. citizens)(Mexico & Philippines two countries most represented) Naturalization Requirements for Military • Forms: Completed N-400, Application for Naturalization, G-325B, Biographic Information, N-426, Certification of Military or Naval Service, and FD-258, Fingerprint Card • English(speak, read, write) • Civics exam: U.S. history and government • Good moral character • Oath of allegiance: Attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution, renunciation of former citizenship. Special Naturalization Provisions for Military ---Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sec. 328, 8 USC 1439 if serve during peacetime. ---INA sec. 329, 8 USC 1440, if serve during war. Section 328 – Peacetime • Must be lawful permanent residence • Serve at least one year (aggregate) under honorable conditions at time of filing • Exempt from requirement of physical presence in the U.S. if presently serving in US military, or honorably discharged within past 6 months • Good moral character Section 329 – Wartime Service ●Honorable service in active duty military status during period of war/hostility declared by President in Executive Order—1 day sufficient ●Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) or enlisted while in the United States ●Good moral character for 1 year prior to filing application & until take oath Dates Specified in Section 329 • World War I: April 6, 1917 – Nov. 11, 1918 • World War II: Sept. 1, 1939, and Dec. 31, 1946 • Korean Conflict: June 25, 1950, and July 1, 1955 • Vietnam Hostilities: Feb. 28, 1961, and Oct. 15, 1978 • Persian Gulf War: Aug. 29, 1990, and April 11, 1991 • War on Terrorism: Sept. 11, 2001, and Present Statutory Definition of GMC INA § 101(f), 8 USC 1101(f): lack good moral character if: ●convicted of crime involving moral turpitude ●convicted of 2 or more crimes & sentenced to 5 years or more ●gives false testimony to obtain an immigration benefit, ●convicted of murder (permanent bar) ●convicted of an aggravated felony on or after 11/29/1990 (permanent bar). Aggravated felonies are listed at 1101(a)(43)(A)-(U). ●makes false claim of U.S. citizenship, unlawfully registers to vote, fails to register for Selective Service, & other behavior reflective of bad moral character. Hypo • Highly decorated officer in the Navy discovers he is not in fact a U.S. citizen. His parents had paid a midwife to register his birth in the U.S. He would like to be naturalized. However, in January 2001, he was convicted of theft and received a 1 year sentence, that the court suspended the execution of. • Is he eligible to naturalize? No—An aggravated felony conviction after 11/29/1990, is a permanent bar. • He should not apply for naturalization because he is not eligible and might end up in removal proceedings. • Could apply for pardon by President or Governor. • Could return to criminal court to seek resentencing to less than 1 year (which is minimum sentence for theft to be an aggravated felony). • An expungement based on rehabilitation is ineffective for immigration purposes. The ―Unlawful Acts‖ Regulation “Unless the applicant establishes extenuating circumstances, the applicant shall be found to lack good moral character if, during the statutory period, the applicant committed unlawful acts that adversely reflect upon the applicant’s moral character….” 8 CFR § 316.10(b)(3)(iii). Fee Waiver • Fees have been waived for military personnel effective October 1, 2004. • Fees are not waived for military’s family members. However, there is a general fee waiver provision for demonstrated inability to pay under 8 CFR 103.7(c) Constitutional Attachments • Acceptance of the constitutional process and willingness to obey the laws of the United States • Modified oath permissible due to religious or personal objection Fingerprinting—various locations • Applicant may appear at any domestic USCIS Application Support Center for fingerprinting • USCIS may use any fingerprints already on file for the applicant • USCIS may use fingerprints taken at the time of enlistment into the military • The applicant may have fingerprints taken at a U.S. Military installation overseas, or at a U.S. embassy using the FD-258 fingerprint card • The applicant may have fingerprints taken at select military installations in the U.S. by USCIS personnel N-400─Application for Naturalization G-325B─Biographical Information This document is for used by the Armed Forces for military personnel only; it is not used for family members. Potential Problems with Application Process • N-426 form not properly certified by designated military POC • G-325B form not completed properly • Applicant not referred to ASC for fingerprinting prior to filing • Applicant does not receive assistance from local unit/base • Applicant filed at wrong Service Center • Lack of Good Moral Character -- e.g. committed fraud when enlisted, or conviction, etc. Application Process Every military installation should have a designated POC to handle the application and certify the Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service (N-426). Where to File (even if stationed abroad) Nebraska Service Center P.O. Box 87426 Lincoln, Nebraska 68501-7426 Naturalization Test Exceptions These exceptions apply for all applicants: • English literacy: –50 years old and 20 years of residency –55 years old and 15 years of residency • Modified government and history exam: –65 years old and 20 years residency Naturalization Text Examples Civics English Literacy • Who is presently the Vice • He has a big dog. President of the United States? • He came to live with his • Name one state that borders brother. Canada. • I came to _____(city) today. • Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s. • I drive a blue car. • The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers (Madison, Hamilton, Jay & aka Publius) Oath Ceremony • Notice providing location, date, and time of ceremony will be sent once the applicant is approved. • Changes as of October 1, 2004: – No fees will be charged when members of the Armed Forces file for naturalization. – The naturalization process is now available overseas to members of the Armed Forces at U.S. embassies, consulates, and, where practical, at military installations abroad. Overseas Naturalization As of October 1, 2004, military applicants naturalizing overseas should notify either the Rome or Seoul Consulates of their intention. • Rome.Natz@DHS.gov • CIS.Seoul@ DHS.gov Overseas Ceremonies Naturalization ceremonies have taken place in numerous overseas locations: • Iraq (week of June 29, 2009—ceremony for 300 scheduled) • Afghanistan • Rome • Frankfurt • Seoul • Tokyo • Okinawa INA 336, 8 USC 1447─ if USCIS denies naturalization application, there is de novo review available in federal court Child Citizenship Act of 2001, INA sec. 320 • Automatic citizenship for biological and adopted child if: ─Child is under 18 ─At least one parent is citizen (by birth or naturalization) ─Child is a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card) ─Child is in legal and physical custody of citizen parent • Stepchildren are NOT eligible. • Good moral character is not required. Section 329A─Posthumous Citizenship • Posthumous citizenship ─ Available for active-duty military personnel who died while serving in the Armed Forces. Must apply within 2 years. Surviving family members also eligible for immigration benefits. • Request for posthumous citizenship ─ The request is accompanied by a duly authenticated certificate from the executive department under which the person served that states the person satisfied the requirements of this law. Questions?
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