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How to obtain Certification of Military or Naval Service?

16th November 2011
By Jessica Potter in Immigration Law
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Members and certain troupers of the U.S. Armed Forces are qualified to apply for United States citizenship under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In addition, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated the solicitation and naturalization process for military personnel serving on active-duty or recently discharged. The streamlined procedure for military persons requires the military persons to prove their service for the corresponding force through a certification.

Know about N-426 (Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service)

This form is used by current or former members of the US armed forces who are applying for naturalization to request that the Department of Defense verify the applicant’s military or naval service. Completion and certification of this form will aid as a legitimate certification of military or naval service.

Who is authorized to decide on the member’s service?

In some services, the Representative has the authority to specify the service member’s service on the Form N-426. This report is based on the member's military service archives. In other branches/commands, this will have to be finished by the unit commander. Unless and until a conclusion to discharge the service member under less than honorable conditions has been made by the service member’s commander or a court martial, the service member will be considered to be serving morally in service.

There are certain uncommon cases (as indicated below) in which only the service member’s commander can have the final say.
•When a service member were being quitted today and the character of him/her is being considered as honorable, then the space for character of service in the Form N-426 will have ‘ honorable’ mentioned in it.
•If the service member’s character is considered under less than honorable situation, then the space for character of service in the Form N-426 will not have ‘honorable’ mentioned in it.

Naturalization Application without N-426

N-426 is considered very important by the USCIS. If an applicant of naturalization fails to submit this form along with form N-400 with the exception of the applicant’s Social Security Number (SSN) or if the submission is delayed, the applicant gives room for the USCIS to take chances to reject his/her naturalization application. Hence it is mandatory for service members to file in their N-426

Forms to be Included

If the applicant is applying for naturalization under Sections 328 or 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, he/she should submit the following forms
1.Form N-426
2.Form G-325B (Biographic Information)
3.Form N-400, to the USCIS
4.Copy of form DD-214(Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty or NGB)
5.Copy of Form 22 (Natural Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service)
The completed citizenship application, along with all the forms and supporting documents should be sent to the Nebraska Service center for further processing. Once approved, the service member will be scheduled a fingerprinting appointment. It will then be sent to a USCIS field office which will then schedule an interview. This interview is to test the English and civics of the service member and review his/her naturalization application.

What is USCIS’s take on the collected information?

Entire or part of the information that is requested by the USCIS may as a matter of routine use, be revealed to courts that deal with naturalization issues and to other local, state, federal and foreign law enforcement agencies. Interpol, the CIA, Selective Service System and also the Department of Defense are some of the other agencies which make use of this information.

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