United States grants citizenship to overseas military personnel

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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) held two ceremonies in Iraq and Kuwait in which 235 military personnel from 54 countries were granted US citizenship.

USCIS immigration officials travelled to Iraq and Kuwait to conduct naturalization interviews and hold the citizenship ceremonies for members of the US military. The ceremonies were held at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, and Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 amended portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow overseas military personnel to be granted citizenship overseas -- something that was previously possible only within the United States.

In October of 2004, USCIS hosted the first overseas military naturalization ceremonies for 17 service members in Iraq. Over 5,650 military personnel have been granted citizenship since the amendment.

In 2008, President Bush signed into law another amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act that allows certain spouses of US military personnel to apply for and obtain citizenship while overseas.

In May of 2008, Zita Chouchan became the first military spouse to be naturalized overseas.