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Department of Defense Authorization Bill Includes Immigration Provisions
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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 member’s 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 families

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.

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