Join the army and become a US citizen in 6 months

March 18, 2009                                                                                            Win a green card Subscribe in a reader
Join the army and become a US citizen in 6 months

WASHINGTON: For decades, high-skilled professionals from across the world, particularly India, have fought their way to US citizenship through legal immigration channels a process that can take up to a decade or more. Now, Uncle Sam is making it easy. Fight your way literally to American citizenship and take the Oath of Allegiance in as little as six months.

In a far reaching proposal, the US military will open its doors to skilled immigrant guest workers (such as those who hold H-1B visas) who have lived in the US for a minimum of two years. The move is aimed at offsetting the poor recruitment intake from traditional sources at a time the US military is stretched thin by deployments in Iraq and the Af-Pak theater.

US Green card holders, also known as permanent residents, have long been eligible to enlist in the military. But this is the first time since the Vietnam War that the armed forces will be open to temporary immigrants and offer them a path to citizenship, a move that in some ways amounts to outsourcing its wars.

The program comes at a time when skilled immigrants in the US are facing a slowing job market, offering them an avenue to turn potential pink slips into not just Green cards, but citizenship if they are so obsessed about their American Dream.

A pilot program that will take in 1000 immigrant recruits nationwide will begin in New York City in the first year, according the New York Times, which first reported the development on Sunday.

Join the army and become a US citizen in 6 months

By going to the pool of skilled immigrants, recruiters actually expect to improve the quality of US military personnel, since most foreign skilled guest workers typically have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist. This is expected to help the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis.

The program is particularly germane to Indian guest workers who constitute the largest segment of skilled foreign workers in the US, and although Spanish-speaking Latinos constitute the largest group of immigrants, they are largely unskilled.

The one-year pilot program in New York City that will recruit 550 personnel (rest 450 will come from across the country) explicitly excludes Spanish speakers, while being open to immigrants who speak one or more of 35 languages, including Hindi/Urdu, Tamil, Arabic, Chinese, Nepalese, Pashto etc. US officials have said in the past that they sorely lacked field intelligence operatives with requisite language skills to be deployed in the Af-Pak theater.

The army’s program will also include about 300 medical professionals to be recruited nationwide. If the pilot program, which is restricted to the army and some other agencies, succeeds, it will expand for all branches of the military.




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U.S. Citizenship Through Military Service.
Join the army and become a US citizen in 6 months.

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Join the army and become a US citizen in 6 months