Navy has Enlistment Dependency Limits

Navy Dependency Waiver

If you are enlisting into the Navy with dependents (dependent definition) in an entry level paygrade (E-1 to E-4), historically some encounter family hardships due to financial situations soon after enlisting. Navy Recruiting Command wants to eliminate from consideration those who cannot balance the demands of family and service, or who would experience a financial hardship at the onset of naval service. You can use the chart below to determine your potential eligibility based on the current instructions.

Unmarried or Divorced
and PS)
No dependents Eligible No waiver required
Custody of dependents Ineligible No waiver authorized
No custody of dependents Eligible with appropriate level waiver 1 or 2= NRD CO
3 = CNRC
4 or more = Ineligible
(NPS and PS)
Spouse only Eligible No waiver required
(NPS enlisting in paygrades E1 to E4 and PS enlisting in paygrades E1 to E4 with broken service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible with appropriate level waiver 2 = NRD CO
3 or 4 = CNRC
5 or more = Ineligible
(NPS enlisting in paygrades E5 and above and PS enlisting in paygrades E5 and above with broken service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible with appropriate level waiver 2 or 3 = Eligible
4 = NRD CO
5 = CNRC
6 or more = Ineligible
(PS enlisting under continuous service)
Minor/non-minor dependents Eligible No waiver required
NRD – Navy Recruiting District; CNRC – Commander, Navy Recruiting Command; PS – Prior Service; NPS – Non Prior Service

If one is required, the dependency waiver process starts with the Enlistee Financial Statement (Enlistee Financial Statement Form 1130/13). Incidentally, everyone enlisting with dependents will complete an Enlistee Financial Statement, even if a waiver is not required, and you will be interviewed by a Navy Recruiting Division Chief or person higher in the chain-of-command prior to enlistment processing.

The interviewer will:

  1. Determine if you are handling present personal and financial affairs in a mature, competent, and responsible manner.
  2. Determine if you can meet current and expected financial obligations within the first six-months of naval service.
  3. Counsel you concerning potential problems that may be experienced at the onset of enlistment relating to financial matters and the assignment to possible dependent restricted tours.

NOTE: A prior bankruptcy is not by itself a disqualifier for enlistment eligibility; however, it may affect the job you are qualified for because of the various security clearance requirements.

During the interview, your Enlistee Financial Statement will be reviewed with you either face-to-face or telephonically. The interviewer and chain of command will become suspicious of entries that are missing or unrealistic. All questionable areas must be resolved.

You will not be enlisted if it appears they are unable to meet current and expected financial responsibilities within the first six-months of Naval Service.

Completing the Enlistee Financial Statement:
The Enlistee Financial Statement is for use by all applicants with dependents. Prior to preparation, you shall sign the Privacy Act Statement on the Enlistee Financial Statement. The financial statement will be prepared in your own handwriting.

No special criteria for the amount of monthly expenditures to be entered for housing, food, utilities, etc. can be established due to the variation in circumstances present in each individual case; however, for the benefit of those who must determine whether a dependency waiver is to be granted, questionable or unrealistic entries must be fully explained. An example of a questionable entry would be $100 per month for food when the applicant has three dependents. While use of food stamps could explain the low amount, this must be explained in detail and attached to the form.

A realistic breakdown of monthly expenditures for most families would include additional categories that are not indicated on the financial statement (e.g., clothing, automobile expenses that are not included in car payments [gas, oil, tires, tune-ups, insurance, etc.], entertainment, miscellaneous). Entry of these expenses are especially applicable when your income is reported at $500 or $600 per month or more, and monthly expenditures total $300 or $400 per month. The absence of these additional expenses is even more noticeable when little or no savings and/or checking account balances are indicated. In order for the total debt and total monthly payment data to have greater relevance for personnel reviewing the financial statement, each outstanding debt, and the monthly payment for each debt, must be indicated.

Signature of your spouse is mandatory, unless you are legally separated, spouse resides outside the geographical area or refuses to sign. If this is the case, note the reason in item 16 of the form.

Note: If you are in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) over 90 days or you acquire dependents while in DEP, you are required to complete an updated Enlistee Financial Statement prior to shipping to boot camp. Changes in dependency status must be reviewed, and if necessary, waived by the appropriate authority.

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720 Responses to “Navy Dependency Waiver”

  1. Patrick says:

    I have to go to meps again to swear in and They said I would do a med inspect, what is a med inspect? I have already taken the physical and everything was fine and I do not want this to possibly delay the process of me enlisting because so far this has been a 7 month process!! Any help on what this is?

  2. NCCM(Ret) says:


    After 30 days since your physical has passed, during every official visit to the MEPS, an Inspection physical must be completed. It consists of a questions and answer period and a height/weight check — if not in height/weight standards, or if there is any change in your medical status since you last processed, you may be temporarily disqualified until you are back in standards. It is the same inspection that you will get the day you ship to boot-camp.

  3. Patrick says:

    Ok great I just did not want to go through that whole physical again because as I’m sure everyone who has taken it, it’s a very long process and im ready to swear in. One more question when I pick my job will I also be able to find out when I ship off to basic? Or does that come later?

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Jobs are married up with boot-camp seats, you cannot get one without the other. If they offer you a school seat, you will know what day it leaves for boot-camp.

  5. Courtney. says:


    My husband is trying to enlist in the Navy. I have one question, is the spouse (mine) credit score or debt taken into account on the financial statement? I have college loans and he does not. Just do not want my credit or debt ruin his dream. Your help would be appreciated.

  6. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yes, because you are married, for waiver purposes, your debt is considered his debt. Your credit report should not be a factor.

  7. Courtney. says:

    Thank you. The recruiter told us a different answer and that the loans did not need to listed since I am a teacher, and the loans are on a teacher deferrment plan as I try to work them off through service (teaching). Now that you have this information, should we resubmit the form? I’m worried if we do not, this could be a problem for him in his Navy career moving forward. Suggestions would be most helpful.

  8. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The debt should be revealed; likewise, the method of payment should also be defined.

  9. Tiffany says:

    I know this site is mainly for those enlisting, but I have a question about eligibility as an officer. I am trying to get into the medical corps using USUHS, HSCP, HSPS or FAP. I have three kids and I am currently married. I am just wondering if I am eligible for any of the above or any officer position if I get a divorce between now and matriculation. Thank you!

  10. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Officer programs do not have dependency restrictions.

  11. Tiffany says:

    Thank you. You are awesome for taking your time to help us all!

  12. Joshua says:

    So, if i’m married with 3 kids(all by my wife) i’m still eligible?

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As long as you can gain CNRC waiver approval, yes. Four dependents is the maximum.

  14. Jade says:

    I have a quick question, my husband is thinking of enlisting and I recently had a federal student loan go into default. I am now in the process of rehabilitating it. I cant afford to pay it all off right now or I would. Will this affect his chances of being accepted?

  15. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The amount owe’d is part of the family debt and would be considered when a waiver is sought (if he needs a dependency waiver per chart above).

  16. Shanae says:

    I have been waiting on a waiver since October 2013, I have 3 children and my husband is enlisted.I have already passed medical at MEPS but haven’t heard anything in regards to my Dependency Wavier. My recruiter NEVER answers the phone and IF he calls back it’s a week or two later. The only thing he says is “He hasn’t heard anything.” Please give advice on what I should do at this point.

  17. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Any and all waivers that were submitted to Navy Recruiting Command prior to the holiday stand-down the commenced in Mid-December was considered and returned prior to that date. If your waiver was submitted, you would have had an answer long before now. If attempts to contact him has not been successful, then you should contact his office supervisor, and then the district headquarters. If all that fails to get a response, then follow the directions on this page: Recruit w/Intergrity

  18. Shanae says:

    I have spoke with him after the holidays, meaning last week and still no waiver.

  19. Shanae says:

    Also will I be considered prior service if I left for basic training before and found out I was pregnant as soon as I left? I “served” less than 30 days.

  20. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You would not officially be prior service, however, you would have a DD-214 with either an RE-3 or N/A code; either of which require a separate waiver from the dependency waiver.

  21. Shanae says:

    RE 3, that’s why they sent me to MEPS for medical only. He told me that since I was sent to MEPS and passed it that that would consider that waiver approved.

  22. NCCM(Ret) says:


    An RE-3 waiver has to go to the Navy Recruiting Headquarters in Millington, TN — the same place your Dependency waiver would have to go.

  23. Shanae says:

    Ok, would the time frame still be the same for a response?

  24. Tammy says:

    My daughter is a single parent and wants to enlist in the Navy. Her recruiter told her she could enlist if she got married to her boyfriend. No paternity test has beendone on her son. Would her boyfriend have to adopt her son in order to enlist and if things didn’t work out with them, would he be given sole custody of her son if they divorced because she is enlisted? And would her boyfriend and child be able to live with her after boot camp and A school if they were married?

  25. NCCM(Ret) says:


    She does not have to get married to enlist. She does, however, need to give up permanent custody of her child, and she cannot attempt to regain custody of her child during her first enlistment. Once she gives up custody via a court order (signed by a judge), then she would have to wait a minimum of 90 days before she can process. More can be found —>> HERE

  26. Shanae says:

    Update on waivers**** So the new possible lie is that the waiver system crashed and no paperwork can be pulled up. I was told my financial forms and statements had to be redone. I did call the # on the back of the recruiter card as you suggested and haven’t seen any progress.

  27. vigno says:

    hi , my name is VIGNO .
    I m very happy to found this forum very rich . Im came from Africa and I live in usa for 5 month now . Im a Green Card holder and I want to join the us navy and be in AD. I took the ASVAB test on January 8,2014. Im married and I have 2 kids. My wife and my kids are outside the usa.At the first time , after the test, my recruiter told me that I can’t go as AD because I have 3 dependent so I could join the reserve. After thinking, I call him and notify him that if I can’t join as AD , I can’t continue the procession. Then , he told me that we go to apply for waive. I want to know if I have a chance to join . How the will calculate the ratio debit by income for me? because my wife and my kids are all outside the usa. I don’t have any debt , and any credit. thanks

  28. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Congratulations! For the dependency waiver, all of your debt will be considered. If there is no debt, then a reasonable amount will be listed that should reflect what you would be expected to pay for housing, travel, living, and other expenses — that amount will be compared to the base pay you will be getting while on active duty. Based on what you state, you should not have a problem.

  29. vigno says:

    Thank you for your reply.
    I was in the office of my recruiter on Wednesday. We did the paper work of my waiver.
    The recruiter told me that I have 5o% of chance . Because I have three dependents.
    He told me that for now I can’t go to the MEPS to do the medical because , after the medical , I can’t join the navy the same day. So , me I will wait for the result of my waiver dependency. He told me that those who did not have problem of dependent must pass first and after he w’ll give me the schedule of my medical day. He told me to claim only 2 dependents if I want to join . Because I have 5o% of chance three dependents . I refuse that proposition and I told him , if we do it with 3 : my 2 kids and my wife and if it granted for me , it’s good but if it refused , no problem. I want to know what you think about my situation.?

  30. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Lying is never the right answer. If your debt situation is good enough for a waiver with two dependents, then it is good enough for the three; getting a waiver back from CNRC just takes time, apparently time that your recruiter does not want to wait. Dependency waivers at the CNRC level are routinely considered, your recruiter just has to get the paperwork done and get you processed. A recruiter telling you to lie is unacceptable. Did your recruiter give you this information about integrity?

  31. jessica says:

    hi i was wondering if i joined the army and my husband decided to go back to school and leave his current job would i have to pay his child support

  32. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I guess I am confused. If your husband owes child support, and he does not pay it, he could lose his license, go to jail — I guess there are a lot of things that can happen, and none of which has anything to do with the Army, but as his wife, I assume you would want to ensure he doesn’t lose his license or go to jail — and I assume you would want his child supported??

  33. vigno says:

    I went to the MEPS yesterday and i did the physical. Everything was good. After the physical,because i have three dependents,the waiver is required for me. Tey anakyse my paper work and did this remarks for me: they wrote on a paper saying :
    -i didn’t do yet 6 months because i entered the us at 2013 09 30.
    -my spouse signature on the financial statement and another paper is not legible
    -they wanted to know the amount of money which i send to my wife and kids every months.

    Pease , what do you think about my situation?
    I want to know if my papers will be send for CNRC or i have to provide the signature of my spouse before my waiver processing begin.

  34. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If they cannot make out your wife’s signature, they are going to wait to submit it until you have that fixed — they make sure everything is good before it gets sent off to CNRC so the package does not get kicked back. I think once you have answered those questions, and supplied what they need, you will be good to go. It is not unusual for MEPS to nit pick the paperwork, in the long run it actually saves time that they do it because you don’t want a package to get to CNRC that isn’t as near perfect as it can be.

  35. vigno says:

    thank you for your quick reply. Also, i want to know if something happen after my physical they will tell me? WHY THEY NEED TO KNOW THE AMOUNT OF MONEY WHICH I SEND TO MY WIFE AND KIDS?

  36. Alma says:

    Hello, my husband would like to join the navy. I have 2 children from previous relationship. My husband has 3 children from previous relationship. When my husband and I got married we had one child. The only children who live with us are my 2 and the child we had together. His other 3 do not live with us. He pays child support for them but the mother has sole custody of 3. There are only 4 in our household. My husband would like to do nuke program. I know you enter in as e-4 when doing nuke. Would he be able to join and would he have a good chance of getting waiver approved for 4 dependents? We have no debt and I work as well as him. Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks

  37. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The where they live is irrelevant when counting how many dependents. By my count, he has seven dependents and is not eligible — no waiver authorized.

    Those entering the nuclear program join as an E-3 — not an E-4.

  38. Alma says:

    Thanks so much! So if we only had the 4 dependents he could probably get a waiver and get in correct?


  39. Alma says:

    Hello, if you have bad credit can you still enlist and get into nuke program? I have a cousin who is interested but has bad credit. Thanks

  40. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Right, with 4 dependents, a waiver is possible. For them to no longer count as dependents, the children would need to be of legal age and no longer a dependent for tax purposes, or legally adopted by someone else.

    If the credit situation is bad enough to keep him from gaining a clearance, then the nuclear program may be unobtainable for your cousin; he needs to sit down with a recruiter and go over it all.

  41. Nate says:

    Typically how long is the waiver process? I believe my waiver was submitted March 25 or 26, 2014? And was led to believe I would get a response by March 28. Is that an accurate time frame for a waiver? Or are we talking weeks.

  42. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The level of consideration the waiver requires matters greatly. If it is local (one or two dependents), then it may only take a couple of days — if yours is local, I suspect they are waiting until the new month starts if you are otherwise fully qualified. If you have three or four dependents, the waiver can take 2-4 weeks after you complete your physical.

  43. Travis says:

    Hi, I’ve been in the dep for a few months, and my fiance and I want to get married before I ship to rtc. I know that I need the to send my recruiter copies of the marriage license and my fiance’s birth certificate and social security card. My question is what name needs to be on her social security card? Should it be her maiden name?

  44. NCCM(Ret) says:


    First of all, congratulations! The recruiting manual does not specify how her name has to be written — it does say that a NUMI or the SSN card can be used; however, it will need to match the documentation submitted. I highly recommend that you contact your recruiter in the morning to ensure you will be providing the correct stuff that the local EPDS requires — some are more touchy than others.

  45. Rey [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    I’ve been reading everyone’s comments. Very informative.

    I finished all required paperwork and was cleared from MEPS on March 3 2014. I need a dependency waiver for 2 kids n wife. So assuming my packet was sent on March 3, should it take this long for an answer?

    I have the opportunity to work for NYPD but I don’t want to take it if I get the waiver. I also don’t want to let NYPD go, in case I don’t get the waiver.

  46. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your waiver would not have left for CNRC on the 3rd — the waiver cannot be forwarded until all of the lab work from your physical is returned to the MEPS, so a better guess would be the 7th or 10th. Now, you should be hearing back any day, it is bordering on late. Your recruiter should be able to contact the waiver person at his/her NRD to get a status — what day it was actually sent to CNRC, etc., and whether or not there has been a request for additional information.

  47. Travis says:

    When filling out the financial statement, do my responses need to be exact, or is it okay if I estimate?

  48. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Any payments you make need to be exact; for instance, if you have a car payment, you should know exactly what that is per month — the balance due, however, can be a best estimate — if a credit check is completed, those amounts will show, so make sure your best guess really is close.

  49. Travis says:

    I can definitely list those payments exactly. My main concern is that our income varies week to week because we earn commission in addition to our base pay. Can we list an estimated monthly income?

  50. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yes, but mainly your post enlistment Navy base pay will be used as your current income figure for your income and anything your spouse makes will also be considered.

  51. Nate says:

    Hello Long story short…I confronted my recruiter (via Telephone) because he said a Dependency Waiver w/three dependents should only take a matter of days, only to be told later on that it could take weeks. After a voicemail apology I informed him that how ever long it takes the Navy is still something I want to do and to let me know of anything else that I need to do. After a week of no communication between my recruiter and me, a different recruiter left me a voicemail saying that he was my new recruiter and I quickly set up a meeting to meet him and feel him out. In that meeting he realized how far along in the enlistment process I have gotten and informed me that as soon as he receives my packet he will submit my dependency waiver (for the first time because the other recruiter never submitted it). After a week I called my new recruiter to follow up and was informed that dependency waivers can only be submitted on certain days. My question is, can dependency waivers w/three dependents only be submitted on certain days?

  52. Nate says:

    Sorry for the long winded explanation but I feel as if I am getting the run-around. I know every situation is unique but any tips for making it through the paperwork and waiting?

  53. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I am not aware of any “Dependency Waiver” days. CNRC is still entertaining waivers for dependency as long as the applicant is otherwise fully qualified.

  54. vigno says:

    I was at MEPS on march 19, 2014 . I did the physical and i think everything was good.
    Because i have three dependents: my two kids and my wife,a waiver is required for me.
    After the physical, they sent me to the Navy unit in the MEPS to bring to them some documents.
    After a few hours, i was called and informed that my spouse signature on my financial statment are not ligible and i didn’t do yet 6 months from my entrance date to the US and the amount of money which i send to my wife and kids was not figure on my financial statment.
    I return back to see the recruiter and we did the financial statment and i sent the document to my wife and she signed and returned them to me. After i gave them to my recruiter and he told me he is going to give it to his chief for signature, and then he is going to send it to the MEPS.
    I want to know after how many days i can return back to MEPS?
    My recruiter can send the document without me?
    I don’t have any credit, any debt too. Is it possible for me to join the navy? The waiver will be granted? Thanks!!!!!!!!

  55. vigno says:

    I did yet 6 months in the US.

  56. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The waiver will be sent to Millington, TN — that is where the national headquarters is located — it can take up to a month to hear back, but most are returned within 2-3 weeks. If your waiver is sent, that is a pretty good sign; you should be okay as long as all the documentation is in order. Good luck!

  57. Travis says:

    I was late to my dep meeting today and my recruiter threatened to kick me out if it happens again. This is the first time I’ve missed one, but my recruiter was yelling at me like I do it every week. Can she actually kick me out?

  58. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If a recruiter does not feel comfortable that you will ship to RTC on time, they can submit a Dep Action Request (DAR) to have you discharged — the chain of command will review the DAR and will normally contact you before pulling the trigger.

  59. Josh says:

    I have filled out all paperwork even the financial paper with my wife.We have a total of 3 kkids(4 dependents). I’m waiting to go to MEPS bit my recruiter said my waiver has to be approved before they can schedule my physical. Reading these comments I’m noticing people who have been to MEPS and wait for the waiver afterwords. Which comes first, MEPS or waiver approval?

  60. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I assume the local command is reviewing your application before allowing you to proceed to MEPS — they are determining whether or not they will recommend approval for the waiver you need — that will not be the actual waiver approval because the local command is not the waiver authority for the dependency waiver you require. Before the waiver can be sent to CNRC for consideration, you must have your physical completed.

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