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Naturalization and Military Members

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Noncitizens who have served in the U.S. military may be eligible to apply for naturalization under special provisions of the law. For many of these current or former members of the military, some of the naturalization requirements applicable to the general public may not apply in their cases.

Recently, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) revised its interpretation of a key requirement that may create opportunities for thousands of former service members to apply for naturalization. As USCIS explains, “[p]reviously, USCIS had interpreted the requirement for a separation ‘under honorable discharge’. . . to require a separation characterized as either Honorable or General-Under Honorable Conditions.” Now, however, USCIS has changed its interpretation of “under honorable conditions” to encompass Uncharacterized discharges as well as discharges characterized as Honorable and General-Under Honorable Conditions to meet the requirement necessary to naturalize under these special provisions.

Other discharge types, such as Other Than Honorable, Bad Conduct, or Dishonorable, would still make a former service member ineligible for naturalization under these specific provisions (though those individuals may still qualify for naturalization if they are able to meet the requirements applicable to the general public).

Without much fanfare, USCIS has concluded selections for the FY2023 H-1B lottery.  Attorneys and companies that have registered individuals for the H-1B lottery in March of 2022 began to receive…

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