The U.S. Department of Defense recently announced the extension of the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program through Sept. 30, 2017. The MAVNI program is a path to citizenship but it’s limited in its scope.
The MAVNI allows successful applicants to enlist in the military even if they are not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. The Military Accessions program is only available to certain medical personnel and those with language skills in short supply.
MAVNI applications are accepted by the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force.
To qualify, you must have been in the U.S. legally for at least two years as an asylum recipient or refugee. Alternatively, you can qualify if have were protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for two years or have Temporary Protected Status (TPS). People from certain nonimmigrant categories are also eligible.
The extension of the program was reported in the New York Post.
When you enter any branch of military, under the Military Accessions program, you are immediately eligible to apply to become a U.S. citizen. Unfortunately, the MAVNI program has many restrictions. The Post reported current plans are for no more than 1,400 people to be admitted into the MAVNI program from the end of 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017.
A background fact sheet on the program points out the Secretary of Defense allows the branches of the military to recruit some legal aliens whose skills are “considered to be vital to the national interest.”
The skills in question must be critical ones under the Military Accessions program, namely, doctors, nurses, and experts in languages with associated cultural backgrounds.
An applicant who is eligible under the program will not be rendered ineligible because he or she has a pending application for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence.
The Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program may be narrow in its scope but it’s a great potential path to U.S. citizenship if you are successful.
An Austin immigration lawyer can advise you on whether you meet the criteria for this program. At Peek & Toland we have decades of experience in smoothing the path to citizenship to numerous applicants.
Please call us today for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.