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Call For An Initial Consultation

Local: 502-442-2039 Toll-Free: 888-832-2944

Gaining citizenship through the military

When people want to become citizens of the U.S. in Kentucky, they may think their only option is to apply for citizenship. However, some people may also gain citizenship if they enlist in the military.

If people are part of the military, they may become a citizen through an expedited process. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that people can typically begin the naturalization process when they finish their basic training. Someone can also become a naturalized citizen if he or she served in the armed forces during a period of hostility. Additionally, a person’s spouse can sometimes qualify for citizenship if he or she has been sponsored by another member of the military.

Sometimes people may gain citizenship posthumously. In this situation, this person’s surviving family members can receive citizenship if they already qualify. Additionally, spouses may sometimes become naturalized citizens if they are abroad. In order to receive citizenship, people typically still need to establish that they understand U.S. history and the government and also speak English. They usually also need to show that they have a good moral character.

According to, it usually takes about eight months at most for people to gain approval for citizenship. These service members generally do not need to pay the fees associated with becoming a naturalized citizen. If people do not have U.S. citizenship, they typically face a few restrictions in their military service. They usually cannot reenlist or retrain, and there are some reenlistment benefits they may not receive until they have citizenship. Additionally, these service members are typically not allowed to serve overseas and cannot receive certain promotions.