Military families serve, too. Learn more about Expedited Citizenship for spouses.
When a person serves in the military, their entire family serves in its own way as well. Having a spouse to keep your family intact and healthy while deployed is a comfort to any service member – especially those serving in war zones. If you are serving in the U.S. military and your spouse is not yet a United States citizen, there is a legal process to grant him or her citizenship quickly. Here are four things to consider as the spouse of a serviceman or servicewoman:
Know if you are eligible for expedited citizenship, also called expedited naturalization.
Per USCIS, “spouses of U.S. citizen service members who are (or will be) stationed abroad generally must:
- Be age 18 or older;
- Establish your spouse is a U.S. citizen who is, or will be, regularly stationed abroad as a member of the U.S. armed forces for a period of one year or more;
- Be authorized to accompany your spouse abroad by your spouse’s official orders;
- Be present in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident at the time of your naturalization application interview;
- Be present in the U.S. at the time of naturalization;
- Declare in good faith upon naturalization an intent to reside abroad with your U.S. citizen spouse and to reside in the U.S. immediately upon your spouse’s termination of service abroad;
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English;
- Have a basic knowledge of U.S. history and government (civics); and
- Have been, and continue to be, a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the U.S. during all relevant periods under the law.”
Know how to show your current status.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) needs to know your status when you are seeking expedited citizenship. You will be asked to provide official documentation regarding your status, when and where you were born, when and where you married the serviceman or servicewoman, and proof of your spouse’s citizenship and military service.
Be patient as your application is being considered.
It takes time to correctly complete forms required by the USCIS and for them to be processed after you have submitted them. Don’t be alarmed if you learn more information is needed before a decision can be made. Also, be ready to promptly provide them with any additional information they require to make their decision.
Get help from a qualified attorney.
An experienced attorney that specializes in immigration law can help you navigate the process of obtaining expedited citizenship.
Please note, qualifying family members who find themselves without status and are related to U.S. servicemen or servicewomen, may be eligible for “Parole in Place”. This program allows those qualifying members to receive certain immigration benefits, including legal permanent residency, if eligible. For more information on Parole in Place, please take a moment to read our blog post: [link to blog post]).
At Diaz Shafer, P.A., we offer expert assistance with any legal matter involving immigration, including immigration services for individuals, businesses, military personnel, and deportation defense. We are experienced, multi-lingual, and proven in the courtroom. To learn more, visit www.diazshafer.com.