On Oct. 13, the U.S. Department of Defense issued a memorandum enhancing the vetting and monitoring requirements for service members who accessed under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) Pilot Program. MAVNI is a program through which non-immigrants with critical skills are recruited into the U.S. military.
The memorandum instructs the Secretaries of the Military Departments to complete the vetting requirements outlined in the MAVNI Program Extension memorandum issued on Sept. 30, 2016, with the exception of the Office of Personnel Management Tier 5 background check. This requirement includes applicants in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). The vetting must be completed by Apr. 18, 2018.
The DoD has also instructed the Military Departments to complete a passive analytical CI and security assessment for MAVNI service members who accessed prior to Sept. 30, 2016 and completed suitability and security screening using protocols that were in place before the issuance of the Sept. 16, 2016 MAVNI Program Extension memorandum. This assessment must also be completed by Apr. 18, 2018. If it uncovers any derogatory information relative to Security Executive Agent Directive 4, National Security Adjudicative Guidelines, standard CI security referral protocol will be followed.
The memorandum also instructs Military Departments to continuously monitor MAVNI service members. This monitoring must include, at a minimum, enrollment in the Continuous Evaluation program for the service member’s entire military career, as well as an analytical counterintelligence and security assessment and a National Intelligence Agency Check every two years.
This memorandum was just one of several issued on Oct. 13 to Military Departments related to non-citizen service members. In addition to introducing new vetting and screening requirements, the DoD has made it more difficult for non-citizen service members to obtain a statutory exemption when applying for naturalization. This exemption typically allows service members to become naturalized U.S. citizens sooner than typical applicants.
Presently, as a result of these policies, it is impossible for a non-citizen service member to naturalize. Any non-citizen thinking of enlisting, should seriously consider the implications on his or her ability to naturalize before making that commitment. Current service members who were enticed to enlist in order to naturalize more quickly may be able to terminate their service contracts.
If you are a service member and you would like to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, contact my office to discuss your situation. I will explain the eligibility requirements and help you avoid crucial mistakes that would lead to delays or a denial of your application. Call 973-453-2009 today to schedule a consultation from a New Jersey green card lawyer from the Law Office of Eric M. Mark.