Military families give so much to our country. To recognize this dedication, the United States offers streamlined citizenship programs to spouses of service members. If you or your spouse is ready to become a naturalized citizen, it’s time to take advantage of this valuable benefit.
As a military spouse herself, Attorney Zaira Solano understands your military family’s commitment and sacrifice. Keep reading to learn more about citizenship for military spouses, and how Solano Law Firm, LLC can help you attain your dream of becoming a U.S. citizen.
Who Qualifies for Citizenship as a Military Spouse?
If you are a military spouse and legal permanent resident of the United States, you may qualify for a simplified citizenship or naturalization process. There are two immigration programs that benefit military spouses: expedited and overseas naturalization.
Expedited Citizenship for Military Spouse Policies
Eligible spouses can speed up the naturalization process if your active-duty spouse is being stationed outside the United States. You qualify for expedited citizenship if you:
- Are 18 years or older
- Have a spouse who is a U.S. citizen who is a member of the military and either is stationed or will be stationed abroad for at least a year
- Have a spouse whose orders allow you to accompany them abroad
- Are a legal permanent resident (have a valid green card) at the time of your citizenship interview
- Are present in the United States when you naturalize
- Plan on living abroad with your spouse and returning to the United States when their service overseas ends
- Can read, write, and speak basic English
- Have a general understanding of U.S. history and government
- Have good moral character and support the principles of the U.S. Constitution
If you are applying for citizenship as a military spouse, it’s essential that your immigration lawyer notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you qualify for expedited processing. However, USCIS considers expedited processing on a case-by-case basis and does not speed up the citizenship process in every case. If you have questions or concerns about expedited citizenship for a military spouse, an immigration lawyercan help
Overseas Citizenship for Military Spouse Programs
To become a citizen, most people have to meet USCIS’ strict “physical presence” requirements. This means that they have to continuously live in the United States for three to five years before becoming a naturalized citizen. For a military spouse, this may be impossible if your spouse is stationed abroad. Thankfully, the immigration authorities carved out an exception to the “physical presence” rules for military spouses.
Eligible military spouses can apply for U.S. citizenship overseas under certain circumstances:
- You are married to someone in the Armed Forces who is stationed outside the United States
- Your spouse’s orders let you accompany them abroad
- You are living together as a married couple
- You’ve had a green card for either three or five years, depending on your situation
- You’ve lived continuously in the U.S. or abroad with your military spouse for up to two-and-a-half years
While this may seem complicated, the dedicated immigration lawyers at Solano Law Firm, LLC can help you understand your legal options and calculate your first-possible application date for citizenship.
What If My Military Spouse Died in Active Duty? Can I Apply for Citizenship as a Military Spouse?
Nothing is more difficult than losing your spouse while they served in active duty. However, if you’re living in the United States as a legal permanent resident, you may also worry that your spouse’s passing ended your chance of becoming a U.S. citizen. Again, USCIS offers military spouses significant benefits. If your spouse died during active duty or due to a combat-related injury or disease, you may still qualify for USCIS’ programs for citizenship for military spouse.
Can My Children Apply for Citizenship as Part of a Military Family?
If your children are not U.S. citizens, they may be eligible for overseas citizenship as part of your military family. To qualify, they must show that:
- The child is less than 18 years old
- Their parent’s military orders let the child accompany them abroad
- Their U.S. citizen parent was physically present or living abroad as part of the military for at least five years
This process also applies to children who are adopted by a U.S. service member.
Solano Law Firm deeply respects military families, and our founder is a military spouse herself. We have a well-documented commitment to our service members and their families.
Learn More About Citizenship for Military Spouse Programs
Solano Law Firm, LLC understands the power of U.S. citizenship and values our military families. We proudly guide military spouses and family members through citizenship for military spouse and family programs. If you’d like to learn more about your family’s eligibility for naturalization, contact us today. Our immigration lawyers will give you the time you deserve, answer your questions, and advise you as to your next steps.