Citizenship is grounded in the basic value that all persons are created equal and serves as a unifying identity to permit all persons of all heritages, whether native or foreign-born, to have an equal stake in the future of the United States. Your decision to become a U.S. citizen is one of the most important decisions in your life. Once you are a U.S. citizen, you will be showing your commitment to the U.S. and your loyalty to its Constitution. As a U.S. citizen, you are awarded with various rights and privileges.
Service members and their Families can apply for U.S. citizenship, to include expedited and overseas processing, under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). For additional information on the requirements and exceptions click here .
A visa is permission granted by a country’s government for service members and family members to enter that country for official travel for a specific period of time. A visa is usually an imprinted stamp on one of the pages in a passport. In order to obtain a visa, the applicant must have a signed passport with at least six (6) months validity left prior to departure from the United States.
Service and family members can apply for a visa by visiting their military personnel office. For additional information and guidance on country-specific visa requirements, please visit the Department of Defense (DoD) Foreign Clearance Guide (FCG) or DoD Passport Matters . Visa processing is prioritized according to the estimated date of travel. The average visa processing time is 5 working days.
Alien family members should work with the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ensure all necessary documents are in order for departure from and return to the United States. Prior to traveling, Soldiers and their families should review the Department of State travel warnings, travel alerts, and country-specific information .
A passport is government issued identification that permits a passenger to travel freely outside the United States and is an essential requirement for international travel. All service members traveling overseas on official business to a country requiring a passport and all command-sponsored family members will obtain separate no-fee passports, regardless of the destination or age of family members. No-fee passports may not be used for personal travel from the United States to foreign countries.
Unless specified, no-fee passports are valid for five (5) years from their date of issue. Tourist (fee) passports are valid for 10 years. Service members and family members who are citizens of countries other than the United States must have a current passport at all times.
Service members and their family members can apply for a no-fee passport or get additional information by visiting their military personnel office. The Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) also provides additional resources and information. For detailed information regarding the application, issuance, and administration of the DoD passport program click here .