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stukahk

Active duty or reserve to naturalize and obtain Security Clearance?

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Hello everyone,

 

 

I immigrated the United States from Hong Kong in November 2017 as a green card holder through the diversity visa lottery. Previously, I have obtained a Master Degree in the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in International Relations. I am currently working as an Interpreter in Washington D.C.

 

I always hoped to work on something related to intelligence analysis and political risk based on my previous background and linguistic ability. However, I realised that most jobs (either federal agencies or contractors) may require an active security clearance in which U.S citizenship would be a prerequisite. 

 

Therefore I am exploring the option to enlist myself in the US Navy / Air Force with a wish to expedite my citizenship and obtain my security clearance. 

 

I talked to one of the Navy recruiters last week and I was told I could get naturalized and obtain the security clearance SIMULTANEOUSLY after training. 

 

I am not sure about the USAF as I have yet talked with their recruiters. 

 

What I want to know is that what is the difference between Active Duty and Reserve in terms of the process time for expediting my naturalization as well as chances to obtain a security clearance?

 

 If I decided to join the USAF as a reservist, can I get naturalized and obtain security clearance in the same way as in active duty?

 

Thank you very much and any answers will be much appreciated!

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The first thing you must meets the 5 year requirement, then you will submit N400. After that, depends on circumstance you can requesting expedite your N400. It's impossible for you to get in active or reverse right now and get naturalized. Btw, with your education you can apply and get a job out there.

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2 minutes ago, H&T said:

The first thing you must meets the 5 year requirement, then you will submit N400. After that, depends on circumstance you can requesting expedite your N400. It's impossible for you to get in active or reverse right now and get naturalized. Btw, with your education you can apply and get a job out there.

I think the 5-year requirement you are talking about would be the normal civilian naturalization. 

 

I understand there had been a policy change in prohibiting green holder holders from enlisting previously as well as the extended background check. However, the administration has reallowed the enlistment of greencard holders due to the lawsuit few months ago. 

 

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/12/04/report-pentagon-will-send-green-card-recruits-to-boot-camp-halting-a-trump-policy-from-last-year/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/after-losing-court-battle-pentagon-will-send-green-card-holders-to-recruit-training/2018/12/03/3a858078-f742-11e8-863a-8972120646e0_story.html?utm_term=.3d7873f26fc3

 

Yeah I agree I might find a job here, but my ideal jobs would mostly require security clearances...

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11 minutes ago, H&T said:

You can't get away with 3/5 year rule because it's laws, even you enlist to active duty. It not just like you got GC on yesterday, then you enlist to Army next month and you can apply for n400.

I did the research about the "law" you are talking about, which is the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that stipulates the expedition of naturalizing as U.S Citizens, in which your mentioned "3/5 year" rule doesn't necessarily apply. 

 

https://immigrationforum.org/article/fact-sheet-naturalization-u-s-armed-forces/

 

USCIS Website: https://www.uscis.gov/military/naturalization-through-military-service

image.thumb.png.b3f2fda2ef9103d70ed311c83554ff02.png

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8 minutes ago, H&T said:

Pay attention, you can't get away with 5 year rule.

 

 

Peacetime Naturalization: Serve One Year in the Military

During peacetime, foreign nationals who serve at least one year in the U.S. military must get a green card before they qualify for U.S. citizenship -- but they do enjoy one important advantage. Instead of waiting until they've held their green card for five years before applying for citizenship, they can apply one year after receiving the green card. (See Section 328 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or I.N.A.)

 

Naturalization Based on Military Service During Wartime

If you enlist in the U.S. armed forces during wartime, you can apply for U.S. citizenship after as early as your first day of service. (See I.N.A. Section 329, 8 U.S.C. Section 1440.) Various periods of wartime count, including the time that began September 11, 2001 and will end whenever the U.S. President announces a cease to the hostilities.

 

Applicants under this section of the law must meet most of the same requirements as any other applicant for naturalization. These include being able to read, write, and speak English, having good moral character, being able to pass a test on American history and government, and swearing an attachment to the U.S. Constitution. However, you will not be held to the usual requirements regarding age and length of time as a permanent resident living in the United States.

You can apply for citizenship under this section while you are overseas.

 

https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/us-immigration/how-get-citizenship-through-military-service.html

 

Would you please clarify this? Thank you!

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50 minutes ago, H&T said:

The first thing you must meets the 5 year requirement, then you will submit N400. After that, depends on circumstance you can requesting expedite your N400. It's impossible for you to get in active or reverse right now and get naturalized. Btw, with your education you can apply and get a job out there.

 

35 minutes ago, H&T said:

You can't get away with 3/5 year rule because it's laws, even you enlist to active duty. It not just like you got GC on yesterday, then you enlist to Army next month and you can apply for n400.

 

13 minutes ago, H&T said:

Pay attention, you can't get away with 5 year rule.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. (FYI the US has been considered in a "wartime" status since 9/11).

 

Enlisting, which someone can do with a green card, can lead to expedited naturalisation without needing to satisfy the three or five year residency requirements.

 

https://www.uscis.gov/military/naturalization-through-military-service

 

I believe that enlisting in the reserve, rather than active-duty, shortens the wait period to one year. Active-duty enlisted aliens I believe can apply for expedited naturalisation as soon as they complete basic training.

Edited by Hypnos

Widow/er AoS Guide | Have AoS questions? Read (some) answers here

 

AoS

Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card

 

Naturalisation

Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

Day 341 (12/10/18) Interview was scheduled for 1/14/19

Day 376 (1/14/19) Interview

Day 385 (1/23/19) Denied

Day 400 (2/7/19) Denial revoked; N-400 approved; oath ceremony set for 2/14/19

Day 407 (2/14/19) Oath ceremony in Dallas, TX

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Thanks for clarification Hypnos.

 

But yeah my question remains...

 

What is the difference between Active Duty and Reserve in terms of the process time for expediting my naturalization as well as chances to obtain a security clearance?

 

 If I decided to join the USAF as a reservist, can I get naturalized and obtain security clearance in the same way as in active duty?

 

Thanks a lot!

 

17 hours ago, Hypnos said:

 

Wrong, wrong, wrong. (FYI the US has been considered in a "wartime" status since 9/11).

 

Enlisting, which someone can do with a green card, can lead to expedited naturalisation without needing to satisfy the three or five year residency requirements.

 

https://www.uscis.gov/military/naturalization-through-military-service

 

I believe that enlisting in the reserve, rather than active-duty, shortens the wait period to one year. Active-duty enlisted aliens I believe can apply for expedited naturalisation as soon as they complete basic training.

 

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I'm unsure on the answer to that. Asking a USAF recruiter might be a way to get information on it. 


Widow/er AoS Guide | Have AoS questions? Read (some) answers here

 

AoS

Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card

 

Naturalisation

Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

Day 341 (12/10/18) Interview was scheduled for 1/14/19

Day 376 (1/14/19) Interview

Day 385 (1/23/19) Denied

Day 400 (2/7/19) Denial revoked; N-400 approved; oath ceremony set for 2/14/19

Day 407 (2/14/19) Oath ceremony in Dallas, TX

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Gaining a security clearance is based on successfully completing SF86 and passing  extensive background checks. It also includes polygraph and extensive look at foreign family, friends, travel and work history.


ROC Timeline

Service Center: Vermont

90 Day Window Opened....08/08/17

I-751 Packet Sent..............08/14/17

NO1 Dated.........................

NO1 Received....................

Check Cashed....................

Biometrics Received..........

Biometrics Appointment.....

Approved...........................

 

IR-1/CR-1 Visa

I-130 NOA1: 22 Dec 2014
I-130 NOA2: 25 Jan 2015
NVC Received: 06 Feb 2015
Pay AOS Bill: 07 Mar 2015
Pay IV Bill : 20 Mar 2015
Send IV/AOS Package: 23 Mar 2015
Submit DS-261: 26 Mar 2015
Case Completed at NVC: 24 Apr 2015
Interview Date: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Approved: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Received: 03 Oct 2015 

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 Getting security clearance is based on working inside/on something that has a security requirement and that you personally have a need to know the data that caused it to be classified.   There are many jobs in the military that never have the need to know any security information .  Once you have been identified as a person for one of those jobs you integrity will be fully vetted.  Posting online about you desperate desire to get one will not be a bonus.    


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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29 minutes ago, Londonergirl said:

@stukahk Do you even want to be in the military? Or do you just want citizenship? Only asking.

I want to serve!

 

I don't mind being in active duty for four years but I just hope I could make use of my previous linguistic and research background if I have the chance to work for the Air Force/ Navy. I've been doing some research in different positions in the military. However, the Intelligence related work (which I mostly interested in) would require an active security clearance and hence citizenship would be prerequisite, as I mentioned in the opening of the post. 

 

Even I am not working for the military, I do hope to work for political think tanks / federal agencies or contractors with my International Relations background. I am not just quite sure whether the military experience would be helpful for my career aspiration. 

 

It's going to be a big decision and that's why I am asking here. 

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