A front page story from the New York Times revealed that the U.S. military is planning to recruit nonimmigrants – people in the U.S. on temporary visas – to join the armed forces. The benefit? Become a citizen in as little as six months. Considering that it can easily take 5+ years to obtain a green card, then additional 5+ years to become a citizen, this offer sure sounds appealing to quite a few people.
Although permanent residents (green card holders) have long been eligible, this is the first time since the Vietnam War that temporary immigrants will be allowed to enlist. Some eligibility requirements for this program will include legal immigration status, security check clearance, and having lived in the U.S. for at least two years.
The Army will start the pilot program first. If successful, other branches of the military will follow suit in a year.
Stretched thin in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American military will begin recruiting skilled immigrants who are living in this country with temporary visas, offering them the chance to become United States citizens in as little as six months.