Military Naturalizations Halted

Our colleague Margaret Stock is the leading authority on military and immigration. Unfortunately, she reports that the Department of Defense has put a hold on all military naturalizations. Here is her practice alert she sent out to the immigration bar:

Practice Alert!

On Friday, October 13, 2017, the US Department of Defense halted ALL military naturalizations for all currently serving members of the US Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and their Reserve Components, including the National Guard). More details to follow. It is not clear when naturalizations will resume since every immigrant seeking to naturalize now needs the signature of a Service Secretary on Form N426 in order to file an N400. There is no procedure in place to get that signature.

Please warn your clients seeking to enlist in the US Armed Forces that such enlistment will NOT allow them to naturalize for several years (estimated time for DOD to follow the new procedures). If they are a green card holder and they enlist, they will not be able to naturalize under the civilian statutes once they enlist, because they can’t naturalize while the new DOD background checks are pending.


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