This section provides relevant information for applying for naturalization on the basis of military service. See INA 328 and INA 329. Service members should file their applications in accordance with the instructions for the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) and other required forms.
A. Required Forms
An applicant filing for naturalization based on one year of honorable military service during peacetime See INA 328. or honorable service during a designated period of hostility See INA 329. must complete and submit all of the following to USCIS:
Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
The applicant should check the appropriate eligibility option on the Application for Naturalization to indicate that he or she is applying on the basis of qualifying military service. The applicant should file the application in accordance with the form instructions.
Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service
The Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service confirms whether the applicant served honorably in an active duty status or in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve. The form may also establish whether the applicant has ever been released from military service on the grounds that he or she is an alien or foreign national. Only those applicants applying under INA 328 or INA 329 are required to submit the form. An applicant applying under a different naturalization provision is not required to submit the form, even if the applicant has prior military service.
The military must complete and certify (sign) the Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service before it is submitted to USCIS. USCIS, however, will accept a completed but uncertified form submitted by an applicant who has separated from the U.S. armed forces if:
The applicant submitted a photocopy of his or her Certificate or Release from Active Duty (DD Form 214) or National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22) for applicable periods of service listed on Form N-426; and
The DD Form 214 or NGB Form 22 lists information on the type of separation and character of service. Such information is typically found on page “Member-4” of DD Form 214 or Block 24 of NGB Form 22.
Most military installations have a designated office that serves as a point-of-contact to assist service members with their naturalization application packets. Service members should inquire through their chain of command for the appropriate office to assist with preparing the naturalization packet.
B. Fee Exemptions
There is no fee for filing a Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Form N-336) for applicants whose naturalization application filed under INA 328 or INA 329 has been denied. See USCIS Fee Schedule Final Rule (75 FR 58962, Sept. 24, 2010).
There is no filing fee for current and former service members for an Application for Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600). See USCIS Fee Schedule Final Rule (75 FR 58962, Sept. 24, 2010).
C. Filing Location and Initial Processing
Naturalization applications filed on the basis of military service should be filed in accordance with the form instructions. See INA 328 and INA 329. USCIS will permit an applicant residing abroad the option to file his or her application for naturalization with the USCIS overseas office having jurisdiction over his or her place of residence, as practicable.
An applicant serving abroad may complete all aspects of the naturalization process, including fingerprinting, interviews and oath ceremonies while residing abroad on official orders. See 8 U.S.C. 1443a. The applicant may request overseas processing at any time of the naturalization process.