Scott Air Force Base News

General procedures to obtain citizenship for military members

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and certain veterans may be eligible for U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization under Section 328 or 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Qualifying military service is generally in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and specific components of the National Guard and the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.

Under Section 328 of the INA, an applicant for naturalization must:

▪ Be 18 years of age or older;

▪ Have served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces for at least one year;

▪ Have separated honorably, if separated;

▪ Be a Legal Permanent Resident at the time of examination or application;

▪ Be able to read, write, and speak basic English;

▪ Have a knowledge of U.S. history and government;

▪ Have been a person of good moral character;

▪ 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; and

▪ Have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years and been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the five years immediately preceding the date the application was filed, unless the applicant filed the application while still in the service or within six months of separation.

Under Section 329 of the INA, an applicant for naturalization must:

▪ Have served honorably in an active duty status for any amount of time during a designated period of hostilities;

▪ Have separated honorably, if separated;

▪ Have been lawfully admitted as a Legal Permanent Resident at any time after enlistment or have been physically present in the US at the time of enlistment;

▪ Be able to read, write, and speak basic English;

▪ Have a knowledge of U.S. history and government;

▪ Have been a person of good moral character; 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.

Section 329 does not have a minimum age requirement. The designated periods of hostilities are April 6, 1917, to Nov. 11, 1918; Sept. 1, 1939, to Dec. 31, 1946; June 25, 1950, to July 1, 1955; Feb. 28, 1961 to Oct. 15, 1978; Aug. 2, 1990, to April 11, 1991; and Sept. 11, 2001, to present.

Service members are not charged filing or biometric fees and can apply either in the U.S. or overseas. The forms needed are the N-400, Application for Naturalization, and N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Services.

Every military installation should have a designated point of contact to help with your paperwork. Please inquire through your chain of command to find the point of contact. Once the application is received, the service member will be interviewed and tested in order to determine eligibility of citizenship. For further information, please visit www.uscis.gov.

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