The US Department of Defense (DoD) has unveiled two new policies for foreign nationals seeking to enter the country’s military service.
The changes may have an impact on the military accessions vital to national (MAVNI) pilot programme and green card holders.
According to the policies, all current and prospective service members willing to receive US citizenship must undergo security and suitability screening.
DoD accessions chief Stephanie Miller said: “Effective immediately, all green card holders must complete a background investigation and receive a favourable military suitability determination prior to entering any component of the armed forces.”
Previously, green card holders could begin basic military training as long as background investigations were initiated.
The policies are now being amended because some individuals received citizenship before background investigations were completed.
Personnel currently in-service who received certification before their security screenings were completed will be affected by the changes.
Miller added: “It is in the national interest to complete the security investigation before we grant someone honourable service, particularly in the case where that characterisation is considered in an application for citizenship.”
The DoD has already started the process of nullifying those certifications, with plans to recertify upon successful completion of the investigations.
Similar to US citizens, foreign nationals must complete basic military training and serve at least 180 days for a characterisation of service determination.
Citizens in the reserve components also must complete security screening, basic military training and have one satisfactory federal year of service.
Miller further explained: “For example, the individual drilled successfully, he achieved all of his points, he did his two weeks of annual training and as a result, achieved one good federal year.
“At that time, the department would render that person’s service as honourable, and then the department would sign the form that he would include in the naturalisation packet for US Citizenship and Immigration Services.”