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U.S. Citizenship For Members of the Military
As a perk for foreign nationals who enlist in any of the branches of the U.S. military, these persons can obtain their U.S. citizenship quickly and without having to pay USCIS filing fees. Even better, their families obtain their Green Cards as well.
The law requires that the applicant have served in the military for at least one year, show good moral character, understand English and US civics and society, and swear its loyalty to the United States.
Family members of the military applicant will also benefit from the military applicant’s citizenship. Upon obtaining citizenship, the citizenship applicant can petition his or her spouse and minor children. He or she can also petition his or her parents and siblings. The citizenship applicant’s spouse, minor children, and parents all qualify as immediate family members. Therefore, they are eligible to obtain a work permit within 90 days of filing their petition and can obtain their Green Card in just a few months. Adult siblings of the military US citizen can be petitioned, but will still be subject to a wait of a few years because they are not considered immediate family members.
Even family members including the spouse, minor children, and parents of deceased military personnel can still obtain their work permit and Green Card. If the deceased military personnel was a US citizen prior to his or her death, the family member can apply for a work permit and Green Card within two years of the family member’s death.
Even with a relatively simple process such as this, there are still details that most people are not aware of. For instance, if the deceased military personnel did not obtain US citizenship prior to his or her death, the family member can apply for the US citizenship in his or her behalf and then begin the Green Card application process based on the deceased military member’s citizenship. The citizenship application for the deceased must be done soon after the death since both the citizenship and the petitions for the family members must be filed within two years from the military member’s death.
If you are currently a member or have recently retired from any of the branches of the US military, you are eligible to become a US citizen. This process is relatively straightforward, and can usually be handled by the individuals themselves. By becoming a US citizen, you will then be able to petition your spouse, children, parents, and siblings. If you are a family member of a recently deceased military member, you may be eligible to obtain your Green Card but must act within the authorized two year period. If this is your case, make sure to contact an Immigration attorney that can assist you with these proceedings and to assure that you qualify under the law.
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About: Attorney Sonia M. Muñoz is the President of Immigration Legal Counsel, LLC. (ILC), a South Florida-based law firm, handling cases in all 50 states and Internationally. The firm is very active in protecting the rights of Immigrants and in assisting foreign professionals to legally enter and work in the United States. You can find more information about ILC and different methods of entry into the US on their website at www.ilclawfirm.com, or by calling 1-866-482-VISA(