Thinking of Joining the Military to Gain U.S. Citizenship?
Currently, serving in the military can reduce the time before you can apply to become a U.S. citizen. Normally you have to be a permanent resident for at least five years or three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen. Serving in the military does not guarantee U.S. citizenship and it is not automatic. The military cannot guarantee or promise that you would become a citizen by serving. IF you are non-citizen, you should talk to an immigration lawyer before sign an enlistment contract. You do not want to serve in the military for years, only to find out that you cannot gain citizenship or residency after all. Also, there is no law in the U.S. that requires to join the military. You cannot be deported or denied citizenship simply because you choose not to enlist.
If you are an undocumented immigrant:
If you are undocumented, DO NOT approach a recruiter, or try to sign up for the military.
The military will not accept you if you are in the U.S. with undocumented status.
Lying about your immigration status to a government official-including a recruiter-is a crime. This can make you inadmissible for citizenship permanently, even if you later serve in the military.
See and immigration attorney if you have any questions.
For more information: THINKING OF JOINING THE U.S. MILITARY TO GAIN CITIZENSHIP?
Please see the article: Still Waiting, Still DREAMing
- A Dream Deployed
- Yo Soy El Army: America's New Military Caste
- ‘Army unit’ scheme a reminder of the military’s pull for non-citizens
- Letter to the DREAM Movement: My Painful Withdrawal of Support for the DREAM Act