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On this Veteran's Day, I would like to call attention to the many thousands of immigrants who have served in our nation's armed forces. In the most recent decade, non-citizens have made up approximately 4% of the active duty enlisted military.  These men and women serve despite limited opportunities for advancement (non-citizens are ineligible for the officer corps with limited exceptions), and are more likely than the general population to serve out their full term of service.*

Non-citizen soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen/women are rewarded for their service by a faster path to citizenship.  Spouses of U.S. servicemembers also qualify for some special treatment with repsect to citizenship, but many rules and restrictions apply.

For more information on citizenship for servicemembers and their families, visit

*See: Non Citizens in the Enlisted U.S. Military, Molly F. McIntosh and Seema Sayala, CNA Analysis and Solutions, November, 2011.  Accessed at http:...
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Categories: Citizenship Military


Imagine that you have been living in the United States for many years as a legal permanent resident.  You have always paid your taxes, always been careful to keep your immigration documents up-to-date.  You work hard, support your family, and have never committed any crime, never been involved with any nefarious organizations.  Finally, you decide it is time to apply for citizenship.  You sign up for a citizenship workshop, and conscientiously bring all your documents with you. 

You are sure that everything is in order, and then an attorney at the workshop tells you that you not only should not apply for citizenship, you may actually be deportable.  How can that be? You have led a model life!  Now you are in danger of being sent out of your adopted country forever?

This is the reality for many immigrants who find out they may have made a false claim to U.S. citizenship.  The immigrant may have received a voter registration card in the mail, or reported for jury duty after receiving a...
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The United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) just published many new study aids for immigrants who want to prepare for the citizenship exam. I thought I'd blog on a happy note today and highlight the benefits of citizenship.

Many immigrants live for years or decades as legal permanent residents (LPR).  LPRs or "green card" holders are able to live and work in the U.S. virtually without restriction, and are eligible for many benefits.  From day to day, life for an LPR may seem no different from the life of a citizen.  However, besides personal benefits, citizenship can make a big difference to family and community, and it is also the only truly "permanent" status available.

If you are eligible to become a citizen, here are some of the benefits you would realize:

1. Freedom to travel and even live overseas without the worry of falling out of status:  As an LPR, if you spend too much time outside the United States, the government may determine that you have abandoned your re...
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