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Atlanta Immigration Lawyer > Blog > Citizenship & Naturalization > Can You Serve in the U.S. Military if you are not a U.S. Citizen?

Can You Serve in the U.S. Military if you are not a U.S. Citizen?


If you reside in the United States but are not a citizen, you could wonder if serving in the U.S. military is possible. The answer is, in some cases, Yes. It depends on your circumstances, though.

Suppose you have questions about what your rights are and what you can do as a noncitizen in the U.S. In that case, you are welcome to reach out to an Atlanta naturalization attorney at Shirazi Immigration Law Inc. if you would like to learn more about your options for becoming a U.S. citizen. The caring and knowledgeable legal team at Shirazi Immigration Law Inc. offers assistance and the answers you need to all of your immigration questions.

How Can Noncitizens Serve in the U.S. Military? 

It may seem odd for noncitizens to want to serve in the United States military. However, many noncitizens in the United States are eager to serve and are active military members. From 1999 through 2010, for example, there were around 80,000 noncitizens who joined the military. The Department of Defense indicates that as many as 5.000 legal permanent residents enlist in the military every year.

Noncitizens who want to join the U.S. military must be legal permanent residents in the country who have permission to work in the U.S. These individuals must also possess a Permanent Residence Card or an I-551. Additionally, it is required that a non–citizen with these credentials also speak English and have at least a high school diploma.

If you are eligible to enlist in the U.S. military, this could be your pathway to citizenship. As many as 109,321 noncitizen service members were naturalized, and since 2008, 2,650 military spouses have been naturalized.

To gain citizenship as a noncitizen service member you must have the following:

  • Good moral character
  • Know how to speak, communicate, read, and write in English
  • Know U.S. history and government
  • Have an attachment to the U.S. and allegiance to the country’s Constitution

Noncitizens who have served during wartime typically can become citizens faster than those who served during peacetime. And, for those noncitizens who lost their lives serving the U.S. in combat, citizenship is also offered. For instance, there were over 100 noncitizens who died while in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan who were granted citizenship posthumously.

Since our country’s founding, immigrants have played a role in defending our interests. Every major conflict that has transpired in American history came with immigrants serving in the United States Armed Forces. From the Civil War to The World Wars and Vietnam, thousands of immigrants have heeded the call to serve and defend the U.S.

Speak to an Immigration Attorney in Atlanta Today 

If you would like to know what you can do and if you are eligible to serve in the U.S. military, an attorney at Shirazi Immigration Law Inc. offers sound guidance and advice.

For a consultation to discuss your needs and case, please call an Atlanta, GA, immigration lawyer, Shirazi Immigration Law Inc., today at 404-523-3611.



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