For the legal immigrant trying to become a U.S. citizen, they may find the process incredibly time-consuming, tedious and expensive.
However, I was one of the lucky ones. I received my citizenship status at birth. I didn’t need a visa, sponsorship, special skills, or have to meet the mandatory requirements of residency.
Because of this, I didn’t have to deal with all of the hassle and emotional stress associated with the Naturalization process.
I used to think that all you had to do was come to the States, fill out the application and wait for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process it. Once that was done, you were sworn in as a U.S. citizen. I was wrong.
In today’s system, an immigrant has to become a Permanent Resident and then wait anywhere from three to five years establishing residency before you can even request citizenship.
Even after you file the Application for Naturalization form (Form N-400), the whole process can take anywhere from five to eight years. However, this may vary from one individual to another.
If you are one of the lucky ones, you might be able to get in anywhere from four to six years.
By day, I am a Military Recruiter. I manage a team of specialized Soldiers that are directly responsible for filling in the ranks of the U.S. Army.
Ever since 2008, The Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) has authorized the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to recruit and retain foreigners who possess the skills deemed vital to our nation’s security.
Are you interested in learning about the MAVNI Program for 2017?
Specifically, we are actively recruiting individuals between the ages of 17-35 who have lawfully admitted into the U.S.
Those who are interested need to have:
If you can meet all of these requirements, you will have the opportunity to join the U.S. Army.
I understand that joining the military is a big decision to make, as it should be. However, the benefits far outweigh any potential risks. Here are just a few of them:
In 2002, President George Bush published an executive order that made non-citizen Service Members eligible for expedited citizenship status.
Because of the special opportunities in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), this allows USCIS to speed up the application and citizenship process for all current members of the military and their spouses.
Since then, over 100,000 members of the people enlisted in the U.S. military have been naturalized according to USCIS.
Some of the immigration benefits include:
In 2009, USICS started up the Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative with the Army that gave all MAVNI enlistees the chance to receive citizenship as soon as they graduated basic training.
Under this initiative, USICS conducts all of the citizenship processing, including the holding of biometrics, the interview for naturalization, and the swearing in of the Oath of Allegiance right on any of the military bases.
This initiative was expanded by USICS to the Navy and Air Force in 2009, and in 2013, the Marines were also included. This means that in most cases, all MAVNI enlistees received citizenship upon completion of basic training regardless of what branch they decide to join.
There are recruiters located all across the U.S., but honestly, we were not all created equally.
Some recruiters lack the ability to relate to your specific situations and needs. Some simply don’t want to invest the time, energy and effort into the program.
I happen to have a soldier that you might be able to relate to. His family immigrated from India and he understands the struggles you may be going through.
He is fluent in English, Hindi and Pashto and has helped several applicants obtain their citizenship through the MAVNI program.
Limited vacancies are available
The U.S. Army allocated 5,000 slots for the MAVNI program, but this will only run until 30 September 2016. This date is dependent on the amount of slots that are remaining.
If you are interested in joining the MAVNI program, please complete the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible.
MSG Washington has served within the ranks of the United States Army since June of 2001. With ten years of recruiting experience, he is an expert on Recruiting Operations, who willingly assists applicants across the Country with their enlistment process.