More than 8,000 people who are permanent residents or immigrants become part of the US Army each year. Many of them are aware that this is a reliable way to become a citizen of the United States.
The United States Army is considered the top-ranked military in the world, and it consistently welcomes new members, a significant portion of whom are immigrants.
Is A Non-Citizen Allowed To Join The US Army?
The straightforward answer is yes! Someone who isn’t a citizen can join the United States military.
Enlisting in the military offers a clear and straightforward path to gaining US citizenship, even though the process to attain citizenship through enlisting is the same as acquiring permanent residency. This is because the two main agencies responsible for citizenship, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, do not collaborate.
Steps To Apply To The US Army As A Foreigner
The first step to applying to the US military is moving to the United States. To do this, interested candidates need to apply for a US immigration visa that allows them to move to the country.
There are several options and application types available for obtaining an immigration visa in accordance with US immigration and travel laws:
- The Diversity Visa (Green Card Visa): This is a visa issued through a popular immigration lottery program for fortunate foreigners.
- The Special Immigrant Visa: This type of visa is based on family immigration. It’s available for family members who are 21 years old or older and are either US citizens or hold valid permanent residency.
- Employment-Based Immigration Visa: Annually, around 140,000 employment-based visas are granted to qualified foreigners based on US immigration laws. Applicants can apply to the military by enlisting in one of its branches. Once enlisted, they receive training for a specific role.
Upon starting the military journey, individuals are required to sign a commitment for four years of active duty and another form for four years of inactive duty. They have the option to extend their service and re-enlist if they choose to continue serving. Enlisted military personnel make up the majority of the US military workforce.
Another avenue is becoming a military officer. Officers are in the minority within the US military but hold the title after completing a four-year college degree and an officer training program. They receive higher pay and more benefits compared to regular enlisted members.
It’s worth noting that joining the military doesn’t solely mean becoming an officer. One can begin as an enlisted member and work their way up to becoming an officer by attending and completing officer training.
Enlisting requires the assistance of a recruiter. Recruiters guide individuals in choosing between becoming an officer or an enlisted member. If the chosen path is that of an officer, the recruiter explains job descriptions and qualifications. For those opting to become enlisted members, the recruiter directs them to a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).
This is the link to the stations below;
What Are The Requirements To Join The US Military?
If you meet the requirements for MEPS, you’ll need to:
Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB):
This multiple-choice exam assesses your skills and helps determine suitable career options within the military. It includes tests on various subjects like mechanical comprehension, electronics information, arithmetic reasoning, and more.
Pass the Physical Test Evaluation:
This is a comprehensive physical exam that includes health evaluations, such as hearing and sight tests, alcohol and drug tests, and measurements for weight and height.
Consult with a Counselor and Choose a Career:
Factors like ASVAB scores, personal preferences, physical requirements, job availability, and service needs influence the career choice.
Swear the Oath of Enlistment:
This is the final step, signifying complete commitment to the US military for the agreed-upon duration.
Some prerequisites before enlisting include being between 17 and 35 years old, having a high school diploma, having no more than two dependents, passing the ASVAB, and passing the Military Entrance Station Medical exam.
Please note that the process can vary based on your individual circumstances and changes in regulations. It’s essential to directly contact a U.S. Army recruitment office or visit the official U.S. Army website for the most accurate and current information.
Keep in mind that joining the military is a significant decision, and you should thoroughly research and understand the commitments, benefits, and responsibilities before proceeding.
For the most current and accurate information, visit the official U.S. Army website: U.S. Army Recruiting.