U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued an important update regarding policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual, aligning with the revision of Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service. This announcement aims to bring clarity and conformity to the application process for naturalization based on military service.
Effective immediately, the updated policy guidance, outlined in Volume 12 of the Policy Manual, introduces key changes:
- Form N-426 Requirement: Only applicants seeking naturalization based on military service (INA 328 or 329) and currently serving in the U.S. armed forces are now required to file Form N-426 with their naturalization application.
- Exemption for Former Service Members: Former service members applying for naturalization under INA 328 or 329 are no longer obligated to file Form N-426. Instead, they must submit a photocopy of their Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214), National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22), or any official discharge document covering all service periods. This document should provide information on the type of separation and character of service.
This updated guidance is applicable to all pending applications and those filed on or after March 22, 2023. USCIS encourages applicants and stakeholders to refer to the updated Policy Manual for comprehensive details on the revised naturalization application process based on military service.