The Department of Defense authorization bill HR 4986 was signed into law (Pub.
L. No. 110-181) on January 28, 2008. This bill contained several immigration-related
provisions relating to the naturalization
of military families and Iraqi refugees and special immigrants.
Military Family Naturalization Provisions
The relevant provisions relating to military families provide that the spouse
and/or children of a member of U.S. armed forces are allowed to accompany the
member and reside with the member abroad pursuant to the members official
orders without jeopardizing their green card status. The law also states that
the time spent abroad residing with the member on official duty will be counted
as residence and physical presence in the U.S. for the purposes of naturalization.
Finally, the law allows for oath of allegiance to be completed abroad by military
Iraqi Asylees and Special Immigrants
The newly signed law also establishes provisions relating to special immigrants
and asylum seekers from Iraq. One it provides priority processing for Iraqi's
that can show that they were employed by the U.S. government or related organizations,
U.S. nongovernmental organizations, U.S. media outlets, or members of persecuted
minority or religious groups. Also, this law creates special immigrant status
for Iraqis that as a result of working for the U.S. government for more than a
year since March 20, 2003 have received ongoing threats.
As the ranks of soldiers in U.S. armed forces include more and more green card
holders, the U.S. government was compelled to provide leniency towards those that
are willing to serve in the military. VisaPro applauds these changes in the law
and thanks those that are willing to serve for our country.