USCIS Updates Citizenship Policy Guidance for Certain Veterans

Effective immediately, USCIS clarifies that naturalization interviews for veterans residing outside of the United States must take place in the United States. However, USCIS may exercise discretion to coordinate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to allow USCIS officers to conduct naturalization interviews at a port of entry. All background checks must be completed prior to an interview being scheduled. The policy also defines the documentation used to review an applicant’s military service and whether any separation occurred under honorable conditions. The policy update also explains that Form N-426 must be certified within 6 months of submission of the N-400 to USCIS, except for applicants enlisted in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve through the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program before October 13, 2017.

The policy manual update notes:

In general, an applicant who files on the basis of honorable military service during hostilities is not required to be a lawful permanent resident (LPR) under certain conditions. In accordance with the statutory provisions, some veterans of the U.S. armed forces who served and were honorably discharged but are not LPRs may be eligible to naturalize under INA 329 even if currently residing outside the United States. In some cases, such veterans may seek to be admitted or paroled into the United States for the purpose of attending a naturalization interview and oath ceremony.

If you have questions on whether the physical presence or continuous residence provisions may be waived, please contact us at

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