On Thursday, November 11, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalized over 4,000 serving and ex-military personnel in honor of Veterans day.
The 4,400 armed forces members were made citizens in 90 ceremonies across the country, adding to the thousands who become citizens each year. In FY2021, this number reached 8,800 – a huge increase on FY2020, when applications were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“USCIS is committed to serving the U.S. military community by making sure they have meaningful and efficient access to the immigration benefits they or their families may be entitled to,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou. “USCIS is dedicated to improving policies and procedures that assist service members and their loved ones on their path to U.S. citizenship.”
In other events, USCIS hosted Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough for a special naturalization ceremony for current and former members of the military at the agency’s headquarters in Maryland. During this ceremony, Mr Jaddou also presented retired Major Gen. Viet Xuan Luong with the Outstanding Americans by Choice award, recognizing the outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens. Luong is a native of Vietnam who fled the country with his family at a young age and had had a distinguished career in the U.S. military, having received numerous awards and decorations, and recently retired after 34 years of service.
Military members are usually eligible for an expedited naturalization process, and can typically apply for citizenship after one year of service in the armed forces. They aren’t required to pay any application fees.
What countries are naturalized service members from?
Service members born in the Philippines, Mexico, Jamaica, China, and South Korea made up 39% of the naturalizations since FY 2017. The next five countries of birth— Nigeria, Ghana, India, Haiti, and Nepal—comprised an additional 17% of military naturalizations from FY 2017 to FY 2021.
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© Margaret W. Wong & Associates 2021. The above text is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.