Chapter 8 - Posthumous Citizenship (INA 329A)
In general, a person who serves honorably in the U.S. armed forces during designated periods of hostilities and dies as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by that service may be eligible for posthumous citizenship.  Posthumous citizenship establishes that the deceased service member is considered a citizen of the United States as of the date of his or her death. 
The military branch under which the deceased service member served will determine whether he or she served honorably in an active-duty status during a qualified period and whether the death was combat related.
Spouses and children of U.S. citizen service members who qualify for posthumous citizenship may be eligible for immigration benefits under special provisions of the INA. 
The service member’s next of kin, the Secretary of Defense, or the Secretary’s designee in USCIS must submit an Application for Posthumous Citizenship (Form N-644) within two years of the service member’s death and in accordance with the form instructions and with appropriate fee.  USCIS uses the posthumous citizenship application to verify the deceased service member’s place of induction, enlistment or reenlistment; military service; and service-connected death. 
The following documents should be submitted along with the completed Application for Posthumous Citizenship, if available:
DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
DD Form 1300, Report of Casualty/Military Death Certificate (or other military or State issued death certificate)
Any other military or state issued certificate of the decedent’s death
USCIS will issue a Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-645) in the name of the deceased service member establishing posthumously that he or she was a U.S. citizen on the date of his or her death if the Application for Posthumous Citizenship is approved.  In cases where USCIS denies the Form N-644, USCIS will notify the applicant of the decision and the reason(s) for denial. There is no appeal for a denied posthumous citizenship application. 
8 CFR 316.5(b)(6) - Residence for certain spouses of military personnel
8 CFR 316.6 - Physical presence for certain spouses of military personnel
8 U.S.C. 1443a - Overseas naturalization for service members and their qualifying spouses and children
Legislation Assisting Military Members and their Families Obtain Immigration Benefits
Appendix: Legislation Assisting Military Members and their Families Obtain Immigration Benefits
The table below provides some of the major legislative amendments that have aimed at assisting qualified military personnel and their eligible family members to become U.S. citizens or to acquire other immigration benefits, or both.
Act of May 9, 1918 (40 Stat. 512)
Modifications of 1918 Act 
Second War Powers Act of March 27, 1942 (amending Nationality Act of 1940)
Legislation of December 7, 1942 (amending Nationality Act of 1940)
Act of June 1, 1948; Immigration and Nationality Act
Lodge Act, June 30, 1950 (64 Stat. 316)
Korean Hostilities; Act of June 30, 1953 (Pub. L. 86)
Vietnam Hostilities Act of October 24, 1968 (82 Stat. 1343)
Grenada 15 Executive Order 12582 (February 2, 1987) 
Naturalization of Natives of the Philippines (WWII Service), Sec. 405 of Pub. L. 101-649
Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act of 2000
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Pub. L. 108-136)
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Pub. L. 110-181)
Kendell Frederick Citizenship Assistance Act (KFCAA) (Pub. L. 110-251)
Military Personnel Citizenship Processing Act (MPCPA) (Pub. L. 110-382)
1. [^] See Application of Campbell, 5 F.2d 247 (E.D. Wash. 1925). See Op. Sol. of Labor, Jan, 1926, CO file 79/9.
2. [^] See Acts of July 19 and November 6, 1919, May 26, 1926, March 4, 1929, May 25, 1932, June 24, 1935, August 23, 1937, June 21, 1939, December 7, 1942.
3. [^] See Executive Order 12582, signed on February 2, 1987 (52 FR 3395, February 4, 1987). In consideration of Matter of Reyes, 910 F. 2d 611 (9th Cir. 1990), Executive Order 12582 was revoked by Executive Order 12913, effective February 2, 1987, (59 FR 23115, May 4, 1994).
4. [^] See Sec. 1703 of PL 108-136.
5. [^] See Sec. 673 of PL 110-181.
POLICY ALERT - Comprehensive Citizenship and Naturalization Policy GuidanceJanuary 07, 2013
USCIS is issuing updated and comprehensive citizenship and naturalization policy guidance in the new USCIS Policy Manual.