The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued revised guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual following the resolution of the Calixto v. Department of the Army case. The settlement agreement, known as the Calixto Agreement, became effective on September 22, 2022, and involves the U.S. Army certifying Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service, for members of the Calixto class. This development allows Calixto class members to potentially qualify for naturalization under section 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) even before undergoing initial entry training. It is important to note that this update specifically pertains to Calixto class members seeking military naturalization.
The updated guidance, found in Volume 12 of the Policy Manual, is applicable to both currently pending applications and those filed on or after September 22, 2022. The key points of the updated guidance are as follows:
- USCIS recognizes Calixto class members with a certified Form N-426 as having fulfilled the requisite period of honorable service for naturalization eligibility under INA 329.
- Calixto class members have the option to submit a copy of the Calixto Agreement, along with a certified Form N-426 and Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, as an alternative to specifying the type and duration of service in the Form N-426. This documentation serves as evidence of honorable service or an under honorable conditions discharge. To facilitate efficient processing, applicants are advised to include the agreement and annotate both forms with "Calixto" at the top. For online Form N-400 submissions, the "Calixto" annotation is not necessary on the form itself but should be included on Form N-426.
The Calixto Agreement, entered into by the U.S. Army on September 22, 2022, pertains to individuals in the Calixto class who enlisted in the U.S. Army through the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) pilot program on or before September 30, 2017. Eligible individuals are those who were not discharged as of September 22, 2022, or had received a discharge that was not characterized as honorable, general under honorable conditions, other than honorable conditions, bad conduct, or dishonorable. This class includes individuals enlisted in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve Delayed Training Program or Regular Army Delayed Entry Program. For further details on obtaining a certified Form N-426, individuals are encouraged to contact the Army at [email protected] and visit the Army Judge Advocate General website.