DHS Updates Regulations For Naturalization of Military Personnel

In November of 2003, Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to make it easier for foreign nationals serving in the U.S. military to become citizens through the naturalization process. At that time, Congress cut the required length of active-duty military service in peacetime from three years to one year, and extended the benefits of naturalization to include members of the Ready Reserve and Selected Reserve, in addition to active-duty military personnel who serve during wartime, who were already covered. Congress made these provisions retroactive to September 11, 2001.

After implementing these statutory changes for several years, DHS has issued a final rule, updating its regulations to reflect the 2003 amendments. The final rule also removes a paperwork requirement that was determined to be redundant and an unnecessary burden on military personnel who file for naturalization. The new rule will streamline the naturalization process and make it easier for foreign-born personnel of the U.S. military to become citizens. The rule takes effect on February 18, 2010.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.