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I was told by a marine veteran that if someone joined the military they can get US citizenship. How much truth does this stateme

New York, NY |

Does it differ for people legally and illegal at the time of enlistment?

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Attorney answers 5


Technically, someone who is illegally in the US shouldn't be in the Marines.

But, there have been some special programs allowing people to join and get greencards.

There are also some special programs to speed up how long it takes for someone with a greencard to become a US Citizen.

You can find some information here:

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.


I agree with my colleague.

Please click the link below for additional information.

Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
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600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 394-4554 x0
Web: (English) (Spanish)

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


Legal, there is a program.

Illegal, no. 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.


If you're on active duty then I'm assuming you're a legal immigrant. Active duty service members' applications for citizenship receive expedited review. If you are an illegal immigrant then your enlistment may be fraudulent which a UCMJ offense. If you are an illegal alien, I suggest you speak to an attorney who practices immigration law and military law.


Unfortunately, you are not going to be able to enlist. Currently, you must prove that you are a Legal Permanent Resident or a citizen. Are you eligible for DACA - Deffered Action for Childhood Arrivals? DACA is so new - just started accepting application on August 15, 2012, I have not heard of the military accepting those with DACA status.

Sorry your marine friend is wrong. Best of Luck