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Obtaining Naturalization Through Military Service 

PVB Law LLC  June 11, 2024

Naturalization through military service allows non-citizens serving in the U.S. armed forces to become citizens more quickly. This pathway is available because your service to the country demonstrates commitment and loyalty. 

Requirements for Military Naturalization

To qualify for naturalization through military service, you must meet several requirements: 

  • Current or past service in the U.S. Armed Forces 

  • Good moral character 

  • English language proficiency 

  • Knowledge of U.S. history and government (civics) 

  • Continuous residence and physical presence 

  • Lawful permanent resident status or otherwise authorized to enlist in the U.S. military 

  • Honorable service as characterized by the military branch 

  • 18 years of age or older at the time of filing 

  • Filing an application for naturalization while serving or within six months of honorable discharge 

  • Compliance with all applicable federal laws during both military and civilian life 

You can apply for naturalization either during peacetime or wartime. 

Peacetime Service 

During peacetime, you must have: 

  • Served honorably for at least one year 

  • Obtained lawful permanent resident status (Green Card) 

  • Resided in the United States for at least five years 

Wartime Service 

During wartime, the requirements are less strict: 

  • You must have served honorably in an active-duty status 

  • You do not need to be a lawful permanent resident 

  • No specific period of service is required 

Attorney Paul V. Balducci knows that the journey to U.S. citizenship is a significant dream for many. If you’re in the military, we're here to help you on your unique path to naturalization.

PVB Law is ready to assist you every step of the way. 

Benefits of Military Naturalization

Choosing the military path to naturalization comes with several benefits: 

  • Faster Processing: During wartime, applications are processed more quickly. 

  • No Fees: Application fees are waived for military applicants. 

  • Family Benefits: Your spouse and children may also receive expedited processing for their naturalization applications. 

  • Employment Opportunities: Citizens often qualify for a wider range of jobs, including government positions that require security clearance. 

  • Eligibility for Government Benefits: Naturalized citizens are eligible for federal benefits, including financial aid for education. 

  • Protection Against Deportation: As a citizen, you cannot be deported, ensuring permanent residency in the U.S. 

  • Right to Vote: Naturalized citizens gain the right to vote in federal, state, and local elections, giving you a voice in your government. 

  • Sponsorship for Family Members: Citizens can sponsor a larger range of family members for immigration to the U.S. 

  • Access to Travel Benefits: Holding a U.S. passport allows for visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to numerous countries around the world. 

  • Increased Stability and Security: Citizenship provides a stable and secure status, ensuring your future and that of your family are firmly rooted in the U.S. 

How to Apply for Naturalization Through Military Service

There are several things you must do before you can naturalize through military service: 

Step 1. Gather Your Documents 

  • Form N-426 (Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service) 

  • Proof of honorable service (e.g., DD Form 214) 

  • Green Card (if applicable) 

Step 2. Complete Form N-400 

Fill out Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization). Ensure all information is accurate and complete.  

Step 3. Submit Your Application 

Submit your application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Don't forget to include your N-426 form. 

Step 4. Attend Biometrics Appointment 

USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment where they will take your fingerprints, photograph, and signature. 

Step 5. Interview and Civics Test 

You will attend an interview with a USCIS officer and take a civics test to demonstrate your knowledge of U.S. history and government. 

Step 6. Oath of Allegiance 

Once you pass your interview and civics test, you will attend an oath ceremony where you will pledge allegiance to the United States and officially become a U.S. citizen. 

Laws and Resources for Military Naturalization in Georgia

Georgia has its own set of laws and resources that can assist you in your naturalization process.  

Legal Aid Services 

The Georgia Legal Services Program offers free legal assistance to eligible low-income individuals and families, including veterans, in matters related to naturalization and other legal issues.  

Veterans’ Support Organizations 

Non-profits like the Georgia Department of Veterans Service (GDVS) provide veterans and their families with guidance on obtaining naturalization, accessing benefits, and legal assistance. GDVS also facilitates workshops and informational sessions about citizenship. 

Educational Initiatives  

Many colleges and universities in Georgia offer support services to veteran students. Programs like Veterans Education and Training Services (VETS) help military personnel and their families understand their educational benefits and assist with naturalization by offering resources such as English language classes and civics education. 

Community Programs 

Georgia is home to numerous community-based programs that support military families. Organizations such as the United Service Organizations (USO) in Georgia provide a range of services, from financial assistance to family support, which can be invaluable during the naturalization process. 

Employment Resources 

The Georgia Department of Labor offers veteran-specific employment services, including workshops, job fairs, and personalized career counseling. These services not only help veterans in finding employment but also ensure they understand and access the benefits of U.S. citizenship, such as federal employment opportunities. 

State Legislation 

Several bills and acts have been passed in Georgia to support military personnel, including those in the process of naturalization. For example, the "Brave and Proud" initiative focuses on simplifying legal procedures for military families and provides extensive resources and support in legal matters, including naturalization. 

Contact an Immigration Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia

Naturalization through military service is a rewarding path to U.S. citizenship. If you’re in the military and ready to start your naturalization journey, reach out to our immigration lawyer today. We serve clients in Atlanta, Georgia, so if you’re in the area, call us to schedule a consultation.