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U. S. Citizenship > Expedited Citizenship Through Military Service


Under current immigration law, non-citizens must serve in the U.S. military for three years before they are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. However, during times of war, a President can issue an executive order, allowing non-citizens on active duty to become eligible for citizenship before completing the three-year service, senior administration officials said.

President Bush issued such an Order in July 2002 that allows certain non-citizens serving honorably in active duty status in the Armed Forces of the U.S. in the war against terrorism to be eligible for expedited naturalization. Expedited naturalizations are permitted under a section of the law that eliminates residence and physical presence requirements under certain conditions. In order to be eligible, a person must have served on active duty status on or since September 11, 2001 in the war against terrorism. The President will set the end date of eligibility, likely when the hostilities end.

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