F-1 to citizenship

The Military Accessions Vital To National Interest (MAVNI) program has been a pivotal path for certain non-citizens to serve in the U.S. military and obtain U.S. citizenship. This is the story of our client, a Chinese national, who transformed from an F1 student to a U.S. citizen, navigating through the complexities of the MAVNI program.

Initial Steps in the U.S.

Our client initially entered the U.S. on an F1 visa to pursue studies. During his time as an F-1 student, he joined the U.S. military through the MAVNI program, eyeing a pathway to citizenship. However, complications within the MAVNI program led to delays in his citizenship process.

Overcoming MAVNI Complications

In response to these challenges, we helped our client secure an H-1B visa, allowing him to remain in the U.S. lawfully. We further assisted him in obtaining an EB-2 approval through the PERM process. Despite the wait due to country-specific limits, our client maintained his patience and legal status in the U.S.

The Calixto Lawsuit Breakthrough

A significant turning point came with the lawsuit Calixto v. U.S. Dept of Army filed by MAVNI members, which concluded in June 2021 in favor of the participants. This victory was a crucial step in re-establishing the route to citizenship for MAVNI participants.

Final Steps to Citizenship

Following the Calixto decision, USCIS updated its policy manual in accordance with the settlement agreement, known as the Calixto Agreement. Consequently, our client became eligible for naturalization. We promptly filed his N-400 Application for Naturalization with USCIS. Just five months after filing, he joyfully achieved U.S. citizenship.

“Jeremy is a super cool lawyer but also professional at the same time. They have huge amount of experience in immigrant related cases and know your situation better than yourself. And they keep you updated with the USCIS news, which is very important to your case over the long run of all types of applications. And Rachael did my case pro bono specifically due to my specific situation, I just have no reason not recommending them! Thank you!”


This success story underscores the intricacies of immigration law and the importance of expert legal guidance. It demonstrates the resilience and determination required to navigate through the challenges of programs like MAVNI to achieve the dream of U.S. citizenship.

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