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Citizenship for Spouses and Children of Military Members
Spouses of U.S. citizen members of the U.S. armed forces (service members) may be eligible for expedited or overseas naturalization.
Children of service members may be eligible for overseas naturalization.
For information on the general naturalization requirements and procedures for spouses of a U.S. citizens who do not qualify for expedited or overseas provisions, see the “Citizenship” link to the right.
For general information on acquired or derived citizenship for children of service members, see the “Citizenship” link to the right.
For information on citizenship for surviving spouses or children of deceased service members who died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by military service, see “Survivor Benefits for Relatives of U.S. Citizen Military Members” link to the left.
Expedited Naturalization for Spouses of Military Members
Spouses of U.S. citizen service members who are (or will be) deployed may be eligible for expedited naturalization in the United States under Section 319(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
In general, an applicant for naturalization under section 319(b) of the INA must:
Overseas Naturalization for Spouses of Military Members
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 added Section 319(e) to the INA which allows certain eligible spouses of service members to naturalize abroad without traveling to the United States for any part of the naturalization process and also treats qualifying residence abroad as residence and physical presence in the U.S. for purposes of naturalization.
In general, to be eligible for naturalization abroad pursuant to section 319(e) of the INA, the permanent resident spouse of a member of the U.S. armed forces must:
Section 319(a) applies to spouses of U.S. citizens who have been permanent residents for 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the naturalization application and who have lived in marital union with their citizen spouses for at least those 3 years. Section 316(a) applies to spouses who have been permanent residents for 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the naturalization application.
For more information, including how to apply, see the “Fact Sheet: Requirements for Naturalization Abroad by Spouses of Members of the U.S. armed forces” link to the right.
Overseas Naturalization for Children of Military Members
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 amended Section 322 of the INA to allow certain eligible children of service members to become naturalized U.S. citizens without having to travel to the United States for any part of the naturalization process.
Under section 322 of the INA, a parent who is a U.S. citizen (or, if the citizen parent has died during the preceding 5 years, a citizen grandparent or citizen legal guardian) may apply for naturalization on behalf of a child born outside of the United States who has not acquired citizenship automatically under section 320 of the INA. The general conditions are that:
Pursuant to section 322(d) of the INA, a child of a member of the U.S. armed forces who is abroad with the service member pursuant to official orders is not required to be present in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission, and the U.S. citizen parent service member may count any period of time of residence abroad on official orders as physical presence in the United States. For more information, including how to apply, see the “Overseas Naturalization Eligibility For Certain Children of U.S. armed forces Members” link to the right.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/03/2009