Expedited Naturalization for Military Members and Spouses
Explore the pathways to expedited naturalization for military members and their spouses with Tadeo & Silva Law’s guide. Give us a call today.
Author: Massiel Silva Tadeo, Founder, Tadeo & Silva
Attorney Massiel Silva Tadeo is a partner and owner at The Tadeo & Silva Law Firm. She specializes in removal (deportation) defense, family immigration, and hardship waivers. Published on: January 17, 2024.
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Honoring Service Through Expedited Naturalization for Military Members and Spouses
Due to the unique circumstances they face, expedited naturalization is paramount for military personnel and their spouses. Deployments, frequent relocations, and the need for security clearances often disrupt the standard naturalization process. Fast-tracked citizenship honors their service and provides stability, benefits, and opportunities for military families.
The expedited naturalization process for military members and their spouses is an honorary testament. It recognizes the sacrifices and contributions made by these individuals and is a crucial part of US citizenship law. Read on to discover what expedited naturalization for military members and their spouses entails, the step-by-step process, and the likely challenges.
For more information or assistance with expedited naturalization for military members and spouses, contact Tadeo & Silva Law. We are a trusted immigration law firm committed to assisting all community members with their immigration needs, including members of our armed forces.
Understanding Expedited Naturalization
Typically, individuals have to wait a minimum of 5 years after becoming permanent residents to apply for citizenship by naturalization. For spouses of US citizens, the period is shortened to three years. However, with expedited citizenship, military personnel and spouses may be able to naturalize after only one year of active military service.
This expedited naturalization process operates within the legal framework of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Eligibility Criteria For Expedited Naturalization
There are some common eligibility criteria for both military members and spouses of US citizens serving in the military applying for expedited naturalization. They include:
Applicants must be above 18.
They must have good moral character.
They must be able to speak, read, and write the English language.
They must also have basic knowledge about the history of the US and its government.
Applicants must be willing to take the oath of allegiance.
The eligibility criteria for military members applying for expedited naturalization include:
They must be in active duty service or have served actively in the US armed forces within the past six months. This includes the Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force.
Applying service members need to have served honorably for at least a year.
The military personnel applying must have lawful permanent resident status at the time of their naturalization interview/test.
Criteria for spouses of military members applying for expedited or overseas naturalization include:
An eligible spouse has to be legally married to a US citizen who is in the military at the time of applying.
The applying spouse should be able to prove that their military spouse is, or will be, regularly stationed abroad as a service member for a year or more. They must also be authorized to accompany the spouse abroad.
The spouse must be in the United States at the time of their naturalization interview and the time of their naturalization.
The spouse must declare a good faith intention to reside abroad with their US citizen partner upon naturalization and to reside in the US after the spouse terminates their military service abroad.
The Application Process for Military Members and Spouses
To apply for expedited naturalization, you can follow the following steps. Do not hesitate to reach out to us at Tadeo & Silva Law for professional guidance if you need help at any point.
Verify that you fulfill the eligibility criteria for expedited naturalization as a military member or spouse.
Gather Required Documents
For military members, you need proof of military service. You may need to present DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or your current enlistment contract. You can also present any additional service-related documents.
Spouses can provide the following:
- Marriage certificate
- Proof of spouse’s military service
- Additional documents verifying eligibility criteria
- Any additional documents specified in the application instructions or requested by USCIS. Note that an affidavit of support is not required in this case since it is not a green card application.
Complete Citizenship Application (Form N-400)
Fill out Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, accurately and truthfully. Ensure all necessary information and supporting documents are included.
Request Expedited Processing
Highlight your eligibility for expedited naturalization in your application. Include a cover letter explaining your military status or spouse’s military service requesting expedited processing.
Mail the completed Form N-400 and supporting documents to the appropriate USCIS address.
Attend Biometrics Appointment
Once the application is received, the USCIS will schedule you for a biometrics appointment where your fingerprints and photographs will be taken.
Attend Interview and Exam
You will then be scheduled for an interview with a USCIS officer to review your application and test your English language and civics knowledge.
After the interview and exam, the USCIS will decide on your application. If your application is approved, you will receive a ceremony date for swearing the oath of allegiance. Your interview and swearing of the oath of allegiance will typically occur in the USCIS immigration office near you. So, for example, if you live in Atlanta, you will likely be scheduled at the Immigration office in Atlanta.
Submission Process and Timelines
Processing times can vary, but expedited applications for military members and spouses are prioritized. However, timelines may depend on various factors, such as workload or individual circumstances. Ensure all your documentation is accurate, complete, and submitted as per USCIS guidelines. This helps to facilitate a smooth and fast naturalization process.
Role of Immigration Attorneys Expedited Naturalization for Military Members and Spouses
Immigration attorneys are pivotal in facilitating the expedited naturalization process for military members and their spouses. Their insight and guidance are invaluable in navigating the complexities of immigration law. They’ll ensure all eligibility criteria are met and streamline the application process. Here’s an overview of their roles:
- Attorneys offer personalized guidance, ensuring applicants understand eligibility requirements and documentation needed.
- Immigration attorneys also inform military members and spouses about their rights and options and their case’s potential outcomes.
- Attorneys assist in gathering and organizing the necessary documents. Therefore, they ensure accuracy and completeness in the application.
- They prepare and file the required forms, such as Form N-400, on behalf of the applicant. This minimizes errors or omissions that could delay the process.
Seek Legal Assistant from Tadeo & Silva Law Today
Understanding the intricacies of expedited naturalization is essential for military members or their spouses seeking citizenship. Entrusting this process to an immigration lawyer ensures professional guidance and a personalized approach, which is crucial for success. At Tadeo & Silva Law, we prioritize our client’s unique needs and craft tailored legal strategies to help them.
With years of dedicated practice, our firm navigates complex immigration landscapes adeptly. From expedited naturalization to a spectrum of other immigration services, our capability ensures comprehensive assistance. Contact Tadeo & Silva Law for a consultation. Let us champion your citizenship aspirations together.
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