USCIS Proposes Revisions to Form Used to Verify Honorable Military Service
Revised Form N-426 Will Speed Naturalization Processing for Service Members
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published a notice in the Federal Register proposing revisions to the Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service. The agency is accepting public comments on the revisions until June 15, 2009, and anticipates publishing the new form for use this summer.
Form N-426 is used to verify the military or naval service of individuals applying for naturalization based on their service in the U.S. armed forces. USCIS proposed a major overhaul of the form because it is often filled out incorrectly or is incomplete when submitted to USCIS.
USCIS conducted extensive outreach with the Defense Department, and incorporated their comments and suggestions into the revised form. USCIS expects these changes will help service members prepare and file a complete naturalization application packet and, as a result, speed processing by USCIS.
Key revisions to the form include:
- Reducing the form to one page;
- Adding phone numbers and e-mail address fields to give USCIS other ways to contact the applicant and certifying officials;
- Replacing often confusing questions with yes/no check boxes; and
- Adding the toll-free USCIS military help line, 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645), and Web site, http://www.uscis.gov/military.
USCIS’ Military Liaison office assists service members, their families, attorneys and others representing them with military-specific naturalization and immigration issues. Specially trained specialists at USCIS’ Nebraska Service Center staff the military help line and provide the military community with citizenship and immigration information in a timely and efficient manner while providing exemplary customer service.
Immigration officers and employees across USCIS consider it a privilege and an honor to handle military naturalization applications, and each do all they can to ensure that applications are processed and completed as expeditiously as possible. Since September 2001, USCIS has naturalized more than 47,500 members of the U.S. armed forces. Each month we receive approximately 750 new applications from service members applying to become U.S. citizens.