Committed a crime? Maybe you should not be deported due to retroactivity.

Military Naturalization. How to become a U.S. Citizen.

In the Military? See if you qualify to become a U.S. Citizen.

I’m in the Military. Can I naturalize?

Question: I’m in the military and I know somebody who was in the military years ago. Can we become U.S. Citizens?

Answer: Members and certain veterans of the U.S. armed forces may be eligible for naturalization through their military service under a couple of different sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Additionally, the INA provides for posthumous naturalization if that particular person in the military has died.

Question: What branches of the armed services will qualify for military naturalization?

Answer: Qualifying military service is generally in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and certain components of the National Guard and the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve. The general requirements for naturalization may be diminished or waived for qualifying service member.

Question: I am still in the military and have served for two years. What do I qualify for under the INA?

Answer: You may qualify for naturalization through serving at least one year of qualifying service during “Peacetime”. Of course, if you have served during a time of designated hostilities, you may qualify for the other provision of military naturalization which waives even more provisions to allow you to become a U.S. Citizen. However, under the peacetime provisions, a person who has served honorably in the U.S. armed forces at any time may be eligible to apply for naturalization. The military community sometimes refers to this as “peacetime naturalization.”

Question: What are the requirements for ‘peacetime naturalization’ for somebody in the military?

Answer: You must be age 18 or older, have served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least 1 year and, if separated from the U.S. armed forces, have been separated honorably; be a permanent resident at the time of examination on the naturalization application; be able to read, write, and speak basic English; Have a knowledge of U.S. history and government (civics); Have been a person of good moral character during all relevant periods under the law; and have an attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and be well disposed to the good order and happiness of the U.S. during all relevant periods under the law.

Question: What about the residency and physical presence requirements? I have been serving outside the U.S for my tour of duty and do not have physical presence requirement.

Answer: If you are filing this naturalization application under the peacetime provisions, and you are still serving or have been honorably discharged no more than 6 months ago, you are not required to meet the residence and physical presence requirements. Otherwise, you are required to meet those provisions.

Question: What about my friend who served years ago, but was serving in a period of hostility?

Answer: Generally, members of the U.S. armed forces who serve honorably for any period of time (even 1 day) during specifically designated periods of hostilities are eligible for naturalization under this provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Question: What are the requirements for naturalization for people who served under a period of hostility?

Answer: In general, an applicant for naturalization under this provision must have served honorably in active-duty status or as a member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, for any amount of time during a designated period of hostilities and, if separated from the U.S. armed forces, have been separated honorably.

Question: My friend was never a lawful permanent resident. Is that a requirement?

Answer: Generally, the answer is yes. However, your friend would not be required to have been a resident if that person has been physically present in the United States or certain territories at the time of enlistment or induction (regardless of whether that person was admitted as a permanent resident).

Question: Does a person under this section have be a certain age?

Answer: There is no minimum age requirement for an applicant under this section.

Question: What are the designated periods of hostility?

Answer: The designated periods of hostilities are: April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918; September 1, 1939 to December 31, 1946; June 25, 1950 to July 1, 1955; February 28, 1961 to October 15, 1978
August 2, 1990 to April 11, 1991; September 11, 2001 until the present. Therefore, any military personnel serving anytime from September 11, 2001 until now can apply under this provision of naturalization during hostilities if they qualify.

Question: What about if the person died while serving in the military?

Answer: There is what is known as Posthumous Citizenship for Military Members. Generally, individuals who served honorably in the U.S. armed forces and who died as a result of injury or disease incurred while serving in an active duty status during specified periods of military hostilities, as listed above, may be eligible for posthumous citizenship.

This application must be filed within 2 years of his or her death. If approved, a Certificate of Citizenship will be issued in the name of the deceased veteran establishing posthumously that he or she was a U.S. citizen on the date of his or her death.

Don’t even think about filing a frivolous asylum application.

Don’t even think about filing a frivolous asylum application!

Don’t even think about filing a frivolous asylum application!

Question: I have a friend who came into the U.S and filed a fake asylum application. Is there anything that can happen?

Answer: Yes. This would be one of the worse things that your friend could do. In fact, the consequences for filing a frivolous application are extremely severe. If such a ruling is made, then the law states that this person will NEVER be able to obtain immigration benefits for the rest of his or her life.

Question: How do we know if this ruling is properly made?

Answer: There are three parts to getting a ruling of a frivolous application on an asylum application. First, the application must be frivolous. Second, it must be knowingly filed. Finally, the foreign national must have been given the proper advisals on the consequences of filing a frivolous application.

Question: On the first item, what does frivolous mean?

Answer: This means that the application was simply fake and had absolutely no basis in truth. Essentially, it was a fraudulent application.

Question: If the asylum application is denied, does that mean that it is frivolous?

Answer: No. Having an asylum application denied is far better than having a frivolous application. Getting denied might be for a wide variety of reasons such as there was not sufficient proof or that there was an adverse credibility finding, or that the legal basis for the asylum application is not applicable. These matters could be appealed or a motion to reopen could be made.

Question: How do you know if the foreign national ‘knowingly’ made the frivolous application?

Answer: This is a question of fact. However, if for example, the person came into the United States and did not speak a word of English and a ‘notario’ or somebody claiming to be an expert in Immigration Law simply filled out a fake application so that the foreign national would get a work-permit, then it is arguable it is not knowingly submitted. Especially if the foreign national was just told to sign everywhere without reading the application or understanding the application or what is said.

Question: What types of advisals exactly must be given in order for this section of law to be applicable?

Answer: The law specifies two major advisals that must be given: 1) the right to counsel and 2) what happens if a frivolous asylum application is filed. Specifically, if the Attorney General determines that an alien has knowingly made a frivolous application for asylum and the alien has received the notice, the alien shall be permanently ineligible for any benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Question: What is the ‘notice’ you referred to above? Specifically, how does the foreign national have to received the notice?

Answer: It has to be given at the time the asylum application is submitted. Therefore, if the frivolous asylum application is filed and is knowingly filed, but no advisals given, then the person does not fall under this area of law. It should then be immediately withdrawn.

Question: If somebody got this ruling, but years later marries a U.S. Citizen and has children and no crimes, can he adjust?

Answer: No. The bar against immigration benefits is for life. Therefore, I would have to go back to the original ruling and determine if it was incorrect and/or whether one of the elements necessary for the permanent bar to take effect has not been properly complied with by the government. I would then make a Motion to Reopen to try to get this ruling vacated.

In any case, it is an extremely harsh ruling and must be avoided at all realistic costs.

How to pass immigration reform and the reasons for the Government Shutdown

How to get back to the U.S. after a Deportation Order

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