U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials traveled to Afghanistan this week to process applications and interview 125 members of the military who have applied to become U.S. citizens. These USCIS officials are on site to ensure that every eligible servicemember can participate in a special Memorial Day naturalization ceremony at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
“These USCIS officers volunteered to deploy in support of our military men and women serving in Afghanistan,” said acting USCIS Deputy Director Mike Aytes. “It is a privilege to support our nation’s servicemembers in their pursuit of citizenship, and we are humbled by their selfless service to the United States.”
All immigrants who have served honorably in an active-duty status for any period since Sept. 11, 2001, are eligible to apply for citizenship under special provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act. Since then, USCIS officers have administered the Oath of Allegiance to more than 47,500 servicemembers. This includes naturalization ceremonies for more than 6,600 servicemembers in Afghanistan, Djibouti, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and onboard Navy flagships at sea.
USCIS conducts extensive outreach with the Department of Defense to ensure the military community has accurate information about immigration services and benefits. Specially trained USCIS customer service specialists staff the toll-free Military Help Line, (877) 247-4645 and assist servicemembers, their families, attorneys and others with military-specific naturalization and immigration issues.
Additional immigration-related information and links to resources geared specifically for members of the military and their families is available online at http://www.uscis.gov/military.
If you or a loved one require assistance in applying for citizenship, please contact us to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced Virginia naturalization lawyer today. Our immigration law attorneys represent clients in Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Manassas, Woodbridge, Stafford, Fredericksburg and all of Northern Virginia.