USCIS Update

On October 7, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a significant update to its policy manual, reflecting changes brought about by the settlement in the Calixto v. Department of the Army case. This settlement, often referred to as the Calixto Agreement, marks a crucial development for certain military personnel seeking U.S. citizenship.

Background of the Calixto Agreement

The agreement stems from a lawsuit, Calixto to v. Department of the Army, Civ. A. No. 18-1551 (PLF) (D.D.C.), which led to significant changes in the certification process for military naturalization. As per the agreement, effective September 22, 2022, the U.S. Army agreed to certify Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service, for members of the Calixto class. This certification is a vital step in the naturalization process for military personnel.

Impact on Military Naturalization Process

Under this new guidance, Calixto class members may become eligible for naturalization under section 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), even before attending initial entry training. This update is particularly relevant for participants in the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program. The MAVNI program allows certain non-citizens in the United States to join the U.S. military and apply immediately for U.S. citizenship without first obtaining lawful permanent resident status.

Scope of the Updated USCIS Policy

The updated USCIS policy applies to all currently pending applications and extends to applications filed on or after September 22, 2022. This means that eligible MAVNI participants who have filed for military naturalization now have a clear path towards citizenship, a path that previously faced obstacles and delays.

This policy update is a significant step for USCIS in supporting military members in their path to U.S. citizenship. It demonstrates a commitment to honoring the contributions of non-citizen military personnel and simplifying their naturalization process.

Read the full USCIS Policy Update for Calixto Class  Members

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