USCIS Celebrates Military Family Appreciation Month
Military Spouses and Adopted Children Receive U.S. Citizenship in Special Ceremony in Japan
SASEBO, Japan – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) held a special citizenship ceremony at U.S. naval station here on Nov. 16, 2010, to celebrate both Military Family Appreciation Month and National Adoption Month.
During the ceremony, 12 U.S. military spouses and three children adopted by a U.S. Navy family received their certificates of citizenship. Three service members also recited the Oath of Allegiance and became naturalized U.S. citizens during the ceremony.
Photo: Sisters and brother Chylites, Armina and Arthriel lead the new U.S. citizens in the Pledge of Allegiance during their naturalization ceremony at the Sasebo Naval Station in Japan on Nov. 16, 2010.
"We are proud to celebrate service members’ families during this special event," said Kenneth Sherman, the Director of the USCIS Field Office in Seoul. "Military families make tremendous sacrifices for our nation, and many also provide loving homes for adopted children."
USCIS is committed to providing members of the military and their families with streamlined access to immigration services. A specialized, Nebraska-based team that serves military customers processed the naturalization applications and returned them in time for the ceremony.
Sherman administered the Oath of Allegiance and welcomed the 18 new U.S. citizens. Remarks by U.S. Navy Cmdr. Donald A. Smith, the Chief Staff Officer for Fleet Activities in Sasebo, highlighted the military’s diversity as reflected in the group of new citizens, which included individuals born in Colombia, Japan, the Philippines, Spain, Tanzania, and Vietnam.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 permits certain spouses and children of a member of the U.S. armed forces to receive their citizenship abroad, where the service member is stationed. Since the Act took effect, USCIS has naturalized 895 military spouses and presented 33 military children with certificates of citizenship during ceremonies abroad. Prior law required all spouses and children to be physically present in the United States to become citizens.
Information about immigration services and benefits for members of the U.S. armed forces and their families is available online at www.uscis.gov/military.