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Tags: citizenship | military | troops | defense

Report: Troops Applying for US Citizenship in Decline

Report: Troops Applying for US Citizenship in Decline
(Evan Vucci/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 July 2018 05:14 PM

The number of non-citizen military service members applying for and being approved for naturalization dropped in the first three months of 2018, Military.com reported.

Citing data from Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services, the military news outlet reported applications for citizenship among troops went down by about 40 percent in January, February, and March — dropping to 661 from 1,069 in the previous three-month period.

Approvals declined by about 44 percent, to 412 in the first three months of 2018 from 745 in the previous period, the agency added.

Military.com said unnamed sources attributed the declines mainly to the end in 2016 of recruitment under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program — in which legal immigrants were recruited primarily for their language or medical skills — and to a 2017 change in Defense Department policy on non-citizen troops.

According to Military.com, new non-citizen enlistees in the military now require more extensive background checks and honorable service of at least 180 days before an application for naturalization can be filed.

In addition, those completing the 180 days must get approval from an officer rather than from their personnel office, to advance to the next step in naturalization, the military news outlet reported.

The changes in policy and the effective end of the MAVNI program began triggering big drops from October through December 2017, Military.com reported.

CIS data showed applicants dropped from 3,132 in July-September 2017 to 1,069 from October-December 2017, Military.com reported. The number of troops approved to become naturalized citizens dropped from 2,123 in July-September 2017, to 755 in the October-December 2017 period.

"We really haven't changed the way we do business" at CIS, but the process in delivering the required paperwork to CIS for final approval has changed significantly, an unnamed source told Military.com.

According to CIS, from Oct. 1, 2001, through Sept. 30, 2017, 125,452 members of the military became citizens.

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Newsfront
Military.com, citing data from Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services, reported the number of non-citizen military service members applying for and being approved for naturalization dropped in the first three months of 2018.
citizenship, military, troops, defense
314
2018-14-17
Tuesday, 17 July 2018 05:14 PM
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