Streamlined US Citizenship Applications for Members of the Military

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano recently announced that the DHS' existing policy to expedite and streamline the citizenship process for those serving in America's armed forces will appear in DHS regulations.

"The foundation of our national security is the patriotic service and extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces," said Secretary Napolitano. "Expediting the citizenship process for service members reflects our commitment to honoring those who come from all over the world to serve our country and become its newest citizens."

DHS regulations will now conform to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2004. This means that the time required for naturalization through military service is reduced from three years to one year for applicants who served during peacetime. The benefits are also extended to those in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve of the US Armed Forces. Those in the Armed Forces who have served in an active-duty status or in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve for any time since 11 September 2001, can apply immediately for US citizenship.

The rule will also mean that there is no requirement for those in military service to submit biographic information forms (Form G-325B) with their naturalization application. It is expected that this will lead to increased speed and efficiency in the processing of US naturalization applications for members of the armed forces.