Questions and Answers for Members of the Military
Adjustment of Status
Q. I am a member of the U.S. armed forces and would like to apply for my spouse to become a permanent resident. My spouse is already residing in the U.S. What form(s) do I need to file?
A. If you are applying for adjustment of status for your spouse under Section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, you must file the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) and Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) with proper fees, including the biometrics fee. Please visit www.uscis.gov/forms for more information.
Q. I am a military member and I received an Approval Notice for my Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) filed on behalf of my spouse or family member. What is the next step?
A. The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) National Visa Center will provide instructions on what you will need to do to obtain a visa. Please visit the DOS website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/ for more information.
Q. My spouse is in the military and stationed or deployed abroad. Will U.S. Citizenship Services (USCIS) accept the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (Form I-751) without my spouse’s (the petitioner’s) signature?
A. Yes. USCIS will accept the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (Form I-751) without the petitioner’s signature if it is accompanied by the required evidence listed in the form instructions, along with evidence of the military member’s assignment abroad (such as a photocopy of the official orders or a letter from the military member’s commanding officer). Contact the Military Help Line at 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645) to notify USCIS when your spouse (the petitioner) returns to the U.S.
Q. I received an appointment notice for my Adjustment of Status interview, but my military spouse (the petitioner) is currently deployed. Will the USCIS office conduct the interview without my spouse being present?
A. Yes. USCIS will conduct your Adjustment of Status interview without the presence of your military spouse (the petitioner) if he or she is currently deployed. At your interview, you should bring evidence of your spouse’s military assignment abroad, such as a photocopy of the official orders or a letter from your spouse’s commanding officer. You should also bring any other evidence requested on your interview notice.
Naturalization and Citizenship
Q. I am a military naturalization applicant. When am I permitted to file my Application for Naturalization (Form N-400)?
A. If you are applying for naturalization under Section 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (naturalization through U.S. military service during a designated period of hostility, including the current designated period beginning September 11, 2001 to present), you may file the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) once you have completed one day of honorable active-duty service or one day of honorable service in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve. In most cases, the earliest you can submit your application is during basic training. Individuals in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) are typically not eligible to apply.
If you are applying for naturalization under Section 328 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (naturalization with one year or more of U.S. military service), you may file the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) as soon as you become a Lawful Permanent Resident and have completed one year of honorable military service.
Q. I filed an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400), but have not had my naturalization interview. I was recently notified of an upcoming overseas assignment. Can I complete the naturalization process via video or satellite interview?
A. USCIS does not currently offer video or satellite interviews. However, the local USCIS office will make every attempt to conduct your interview before you move or deploy. Please contact your local USCIS office or call the USCIS Military Help Line at 1-877-247-4645 as soon as possible to notify them of your upcoming change of station and schedule your interview.
Q. I recently enlisted in the military and am not a U.S. citizen. How can I apply for naturalization while in basic training?
A. Through the Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative, you may have the opportunity to submit your application packet and biometrics, have your naturalization interview, and take the Oath of Allegiance to become a U.S. citizen before you graduate from basic training. Keep in mind that this initiative is not yet available at all military installations. Please check with your recruiter or basic training instructor to see if your training site participates in this initiative. If your site participates in this initiative, bring your completed Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) and Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service (Form N-426) with you to basic training and ask your training instructor how to submit your application packet. If your site does not participate in this initiative, you can mail your completed Form N-400 and completed and certified Form N-426 to the Nebraska Service Center, at the address listed on the instructions for Form N-400. Your receipt notice will be mailed to the address you provide on your Form N-400. Visit www.uscis.gov/forms to download copies of these forms. Refer to the USCIS Document Checklist (M-477) for a list of documents that you may need to submit with your application packet.
Q. I think I may have derived or acquired U.S. citizenship from one of my parents. How can I find out more information?
A. The instructions for the Application for Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600) and www.uscis.gov provide more information on deriving or acquiring citizenship from a parent. There is no fee to file Form N-600 when it is filed on behalf of a member of the U.S. armed forces. Please attach proof of military service to be exempted from the fee.
Q. I am an active duty military member and am required to submit biometrics at a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC). Do I need an appointment?
A. No. Active duty military members do not need an appointment and will be accepted on a walk-in basis at any ASC in the United States. Bring your military ID or DEP ID card with you to the ASC. To locate your nearest ASC, please visit https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=offices.type&OfficeLocator.office_type=ASC.
Q. Can I submit fingerprints before I file the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400)?
A. Yes. You may submit fingerprints even if you have not yet submitted an Application for Naturalization. You will be asked to provide your USCIS A-number (USCIS file number) and show your military ID or DEP ID card. To locate your nearest ASC, please visit https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=offices.type&OfficeLocator.office_type=ASC.
Q. I received an appointment notice to submit fingerprints at a USCIS Application Support Center. I am not able to travel to an Application Support Center. How can I submit fingerprints?
A. USCIS travels to many military installations in the U.S. to capture fingerprints using a mobile fingerprint unit. Contact your local USCIS office or call the USCIS Military Help Line at 1-877 CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645) to request this service.
Q. I am scheduled to deploy in the near future. How do I notify USCIS?
A. If you are submitting an application or petition to USCIS, and are scheduled to deploy in the near future, write in bold letters, “I have an upcoming deployment” on the first page of the application/petition, or on a cover sheet attached to your application. If you have already submitted your application and need to notify USCIS of an upcoming deployment, contact the USCIS Military Help Line at 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645) as soon as possible.
Q. What are the criteria to have an application or petition expedited for military personnel?
A. USCIS reviews all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis. Some examples of situations that may qualify for expedited processing include pending military deployments or emergency or humanitarian situations. Please contact your local USCIS office or the USCIS Military Help Line at 1-877 CIS-4MIL (1‑877-247-4645) for more information.
Q. I am an active duty military member stationed abroad. How do I check the status of my application?
A. You can check the status of any application by clicking on the “Check My Case Status” link on the right-hand side of this page. You may also call the USCIS Military Help Line at 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645).
Note: when checking the status of Form I-751, you must use the receipt number from the ASC appointment notice.
Q. Are there any benefits for surviving relatives of service members who died while serving on active duty?
A. Yes. Please visit the link to “M-601, Survivor Benefits for Non-Citizen Relatives of Military Personnel” located at www.uscis.gov/military for benefit information for surviving family members.
Q. I am transferring or deploying to a new duty station. How do I notify USCIS of my new address?
A. Contact the USCIS Military Help Line by telephone: 1-877-247-4645 or e-mail: email@example.com. You may also go to www.uscis.gov and complete the AR-11 online to change your address. It is important to notify USCIS every time your address changes so that you will continue to receive information and correspondence about your pending application(s).
If you are stationed in the U.S., you can also change your address in-person with your local USCIS office by making an Infopass appointment through the USCIS website at http://infopass.uscis.gov/.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/06/2012