ICE Discusses the MAVNI Program
Dec 25, 2012
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 24, 2012 – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has begun a pilot program known as Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI).
MAVNI allows non-citizens who have certain critical skills to enlist in the U.S. military and apply immediately for U.S. citizenship without the need to first obtain permanent resident status.
“MAVNI offers qualified foreign nationals willing to fight for America the ability to gain U.S. citizenship quickly,” Dallas immigration lawyer Stewart Rabinowitz said in a statement. “What a contrast to an otherwise overly complicated, inefficient U.S. immigration system. With MAVNI, certain foreign nationals who want to directly help the country can gain a benefit commensurate with putting one’s life on the line: citizenship based on service to one’s new country.”
MAVNI is available to legal aliens possessing skills in either of two fields: physicians and nurses may enlist as a health professional for at least three years of active duty, or six years in the U.S. Army Reserve, and experts in certain languages with associated cultural backgrounds may enlist for a minimum of four years of active duty as a language recruit. Applicable languages include Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian, Turkish and many others.
To qualify, applicants must be an asylee, a refugee, an individual granted temporary protected status, or a non-immigrant in categories E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U or V at the time that they apply. Applicants must have been in one of those categories for a minimum of two years immediately prior to applying, and must not have been absent from the United States for more than 90 consecutive days during those two years.
The pilot program will be available for up to 1,500 new recruits per year through May 15, 2014.
Non-citizens have been part of the armed forces since the Revolutionary War. Currently, approximately 24,000 non-citizens are on active duty, and around 5,000 legal permanent resident aliens join every year. Since September 11, 2001, more than 78,000 individuals have attained U.S. citizenship while serving in the armed forces.
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