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Citizenship Requirements for Enlistment

Navy Citizenship Requirements

Updated: October 15, 2017

Only U.S. citizens, U.S. non-citizen nationals, Canadian-born North American Indians, and aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence are considered “citizenship eligible” for enlistment in the U.S. Navy or Navy Reserve. The only exception is for those eligible for the Navy MAVNI Program.

Proof of citizenship is one of the Basic Enlistment Eligibility Requirements (BEERs). Exceptions exist for citizens from the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau. This post lists the various status’ and documents required for enlistment based on a consolidation of current Navy instructions and publications.

A described, some legally documented non-U.S. citizens and immigrant aliens can join the military, they may not be enlisted into any job or program that will require a security clearance, but will afforded all the same military pay, allowances and benefits of U.S. citizen serving in the same billet (rank, location, assignment, etc.). If you claim dual citizenship (U.S. citizenship and citizenship in any other country), you are eligible for enlistment, but you will not be classified into any rating/program requiring a security clearance. You may be considered for entry into ratings/programs requiring a security clearance only upon official renouncement of your non-US citizenship.

Employers can sponsor immigrants that allow them to obtain a visa to lawfully enter and work in the United States, but the U.S. Navy cannot provide such sponsorship. To be clear, Recruiters may not offer to sponsor any alien seeking admission as a lawful permanent resident by citing the Navy as the prospective employer.

The United States Navy Recruiting Station that was once located in the Philippines was closed on December 31, 1992 — it was at the same time that the military base agreement with the Philippines ended. Since that time, Filipinos who were not United States citizens has had to meet the same citizenship requirements as any other foreign national.

Note: Effective, October 13, 2017, all Non United States Citizen (Green Card holders, etc.) MUST have their initial background investigation completed before leaving for boot-camp. Those already in the delayed entry program whose investigation is not yet completed may be rolled out to a new date to allow enough time for its completion.

Verification of Citizenship

You must demonstrate citizenship eligibility for enlistment by providing recruiters official citizenship documents. Your Recruiter must sight the original citizenship verification documents which will be photocopied, and certified as copies of the original document. The certified copies will be placed in your service record and MEPS residual file. Your original documents should be immediately returned to you.

U.S. Citizen.

Citizens of the United States include citizens of Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Marianas Islands. For persons born in the geographical United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Northern Marianas Islands a valid birth certificate issued by a civil authority establishes U.S. citizenship.

Birth Certificates

A birth certificate must meet all of the following criteria to be considered valid:

  • Full Name – First, Last, and Middle Name(s). Birth records must have your complete first and last names. Birth records without a middle name or where the middle name is represented by an initial are acceptable.
  • Birth Date. All birth certificates must include the date of birth.
  • Birthplace. State, County and/or City. Some birth records do not list the birthplace city or town. These records are adequate so long as they list the county, province or State of birth.
  • Birth Record Validation. A birth record must bear appropriate validation markings for use as primary verification evidence. The government agency or hospital may accomplish authentication or certification with original or machine-produced signatures or raised, impressed, embossed, or multicolored seals or stamps, or a combination of these. Any one combination of these official validation methods is acceptable.

Note 1: Hospital birth certificates signed by a hospital administrator or physician and short form birth verification cards issued by vital statistics offices, with or without raised, impressed, embossed, or multicolored seals or stamps are acceptable for enlistment.
Note 2: A birth certificate where the middle name is omitted, represented by the abbreviation “NMN” or other notation to signify that no middle name exists, or is represented by initials, is acceptable for enlistment.
Note 3: Birth certificate issued with “Baby Boy” or “Baby Girl” instead of a given name is not valid for enlistment purposes.

Report of Birth Abroad of a US Citizen (FS 240) or Certification of Report of Birth Abroad (DS 1350).

If you were born of U.S. parent(s) outside the geographical United States, a valid FS 240 or DS 1350 issued by the Department of State establishes your U.S. citizenship.

Certification of Birth Abroad (FS 545).

If you were born of U.S. parent(s) outside the geographical United States, a valid FS 545 issued by a U.S. foreign service post establishes your U.S. citizenship.

U.S. Passport.

A current (unexpired) U.S. Passport issued by the Secretary of State would establish your U.S. citizenship; however, if you were born abroad of U.S. parents you will be required to provide additional birth verification documents to verify status as a U.S. citizen at your birth.

Naturalized Citizen

Naturalization Certificate (USCIS N-550/N-551/N-570) or Certificate of Citizenship (USCIS N-560/N-561).

A valid Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) establishes your enlistment eligibility as a naturalized citizen of the United States.

U.S. Passport.

A current (unexpired) U.S. Passport issued by the Secretary of State can be used to establish your eligibility as a naturalized citizen.

U.S. Non-Citizen National.

Non-citizen nationals of the United States are the inhabitants of Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Swains Island, which are outlying possessions of the United States. If you are a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owe permanent allegiance to the United States. Although lacking certain privileges of U.S. citizenship such as voting and holding office in the U. S., you are in other respects entitled to enjoy U.S. diplomatic protection abroad and free entry into the United States under the same conditions as U.S. citizens.

Valid Birth Certificate Issued by a Civil Authority.

If you were born in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or Swains Island, a valid birth certificate (with raised seal) issued by the government of Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa or Swains Island would establish your eligibility as a United States Non-Citizen National.

U.S. Passport.

A current (unexpired) passport issued by the U.S. Department of State. The U.S. Department of State issues U.S. passports to natives of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and Swains Island. The passport would establish your identity as a U.S. non-citizen national.

Canadian Born Native American Indian.

A Canadian-born North American Indian with a minimum of 50% quantum of Indian blood.

Long Form Canadian Birth Certificate with Tribal Letter Card

Tribal letter or card must be issued by a valid band, tribe or nation and must indicate a minimum of 50% quantum North American Indian blood.

Unexpired USCIS Form I-551.

A properly documented USCIS Form I-551 could be used to document your status as a Canadian Born Native American Indian.

Note: Canadian born North American Indians are not required to have a current address or home of record in the United States.

Non U.S. Citizen (Permanent Resident Alien)

Whereas a legal permanent resident alien non-citizen is eligible to join the military, you would be restricted from jobs and programs that require security clearance.

Permanent Resident Card (USCIS I-551).

Possession of an unexpired, properly documented USCIS I-551 card, issued on or after your 13th birthday would deem you citizenship eligible for enlistment. You must be accessed onto active duty (go to boot camp) or be reported as a Reserve Component gain prior to the expiration date of your USCIS I-551.

Note: If you have a valid USCIS I-551 issued prior to your 13th birthday, you may still process for DEP enlistment provided a valid USCIS G-845 (Document Verification Request) is obtained from the USCIS. But still, a new USCIS I-551 must be obtained BEFORE you can leave for boot camp.

Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE) Program. The SAVE program is used by NAVCRUITCOM (N35) to verify an alien’s immigration status based upon USCIS documents and information provided by applicants/recruiters. The SAVE program is used only for applicants who have lost their Permanent Resident Card (USCIS I-551) and require a replacement card. A SAVE program printout obtained from NAVCRUITCOM (N35) can be used to process the applicant for DEP enlistment only. A new USCIS I-551 must be obtained prior to shipping any Future Sailor DEPped with a SAVE printout.

Conditional Resident Aliens

Conditional resident aliens are identified by possessing USCIS I-551 cards that expire two years from the date of issuance. If you are in a “conditional” permanent resident alien status based upon your marriage to a United States citizen, you are eligible to DEP and leave for boot camp provided your marital status does not change prior to leaving for boot camp. If before leaving for boot camp, you become legally separated, divorced, or you are unable to locate your spouse, you would no longer enlistment eligible because you would be subject to the potential loss of legal residency status that could lead to deportation. In such cases, you may become enlistment eligible upon USCIS issuance of a standard USCIS I-551 card with an expiration date ten years from the date of issuance.

Additional Forms for Permanent Resident Aliens

Document Verification Request (USCIS G-845).

The USCIS G-845 form is used to verify an alien’s immigration status. If you have lost your Permanent Residence Card (USCIS I-551) and require a replacement card, a valid USCIS G-845 obtained from USCIS may process for DEP enlistment only. A new USCIS I-551 must be obtained BEFORE you can leave for boot camp.

Notice of Action (USCIS I-797).

The USCIS I-797 (Notice of Action) document may be used in lieu of an the USCIS G-845, for DEP purposes only, when the USCIS I-797 document indicates that the expiration date on your permanent or conditional I-551 card has been extended.

Note: Because it may take several months, even up to a year or more, for USCIS to issue you a replacement Permanent Residence Card (USCIS I-551), you may be told to wait until the new card is received or, if proof the replacement card was ordered some time ago, you may be placed into the DEP with a minimum wait time of 6 months. You can not stay in the DEP more than a total of one year to wait for the new card, and it must be received before you can leave for active duty.

Nonimmigrant Alien.

The United States government established a Compact of Free Association with the government of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of Palau, which in part, gives their citizens the right to freely enter into the United States for work and to establish residency. Citizens of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau are eligible to enlist. All other aliens admitted temporarily into the United States for specific purposes or periods of time as nonimmigrant aliens are ineligible for enlistment.

Valid Birth Certificate

If you have a valid birth certificate, with a raised seal, issued by a civil authority of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or Republic of Palau, you would be citizenship eligible to enlist.


A current (unexpired) passport issued by the government of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or Republic of Palau establishes non-immigrant alien eligibility.

Information current with Change 8 of COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8J released June 1, 2015.

349 Responses to “Navy Citizenship Requirements”

  1. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I appreciate what you have been told; however, COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8K CH-1 (MAY 2017), VOLUME II – ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS, paragraph e.1’s WARNING on page 140 states:

    e. Non U.S. Citizen (Permanent Resident Alien)

    (1) USCIS I-551 (Permanent Residence Card). An unexpired USCIS I-551 issued on or after the person’s 14th birthday.

    WARNING: Permanent resident aliens must be accessed onto active duty or reported as a Reserve Component gain prior to the expiration date on their USCIS I-551. Shipping or gaining a permanent resident alien without a valid unexpired USCIS I-551 card in his or her possession is prohibited.

    Unless your local MEPS has asked for and received an exception to policy from CNRC, the instruction is clear on this issue.

  2. JOHN says:

    I see, that must be why they made me complete my citizenship paperwork yesterday. I must have gotten lucky to have such supportive group of recruiters. I do feel lucky.

  3. Amjaad says:

    I’m an american citizen who lives abroad (in a middle eastern country) and I’d like to enlist and complete the procedures from where I am currently. How can I do that?

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The countries in the Middle East actually have two stations they may be able to work through — I recommend contacting the Navy Recruiting Station in Germany. If you are basically qualified, they will work out transportation and procedures for you.

    Good luck!

    NRS Germany
    Mannheimer Str. 3213 Room 005
    Kaiserslautern, Germany 67657

    Phone: +49 611 1435230902

  5. Dhee [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    I am currently in conditional GC and scheduled to take the ASVAB TEST next friday. My GC expires on January next year. What is the chances for me to be sent to boot camp and gets naturalized? Thanks alot.

  6. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I have no way of determining your chances. You must first fully qualify; pass the ASVAB, physical, etc., and ship for boot-camp before your card expires. Then, if you make it to boot-camp, your application for citizenship must be forwarded and all the processing and interviews for citizenship can begin — that process takes time.

  7. Kk says:

    Can I join as a officer in the healthcare field with my conditional green card? Just want to know before talking to the recruiter.


  8. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Applicants for officer programs must be U.S. citizens. Certain physicians in fields that are very difficult to fill may have an outside shot at a waiver by the Secretary of the Navy, but I have never heard of one being considered.

  9. Lilly. says:


    I have a conditional green card through marriage, can I enlist in the navy or airforce? If so, when I go to bootcamp and come back to my husband cheating, will divorcing him revoke my enlistment and chances to stay in the navy/air force after boot camp?

  10. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It sounds as if the marriage is already on the rocks. You need to reconcile your differences before you can join.

  11. Lilly says:


    Everything is better. Just got some worries but will I still be okay during bootcamp?

  12. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your husband will sign some documents during your enlistment process.

  13. Cam says:


    I saw Lilly’s post about having a conditional green card and I’m on the same boat. But I didn’t see an answer if you can enlist in the airforce with a conditional green card? After bootcamp, will I be able to go back to my husband? He’s in the military too.

  14. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It explains everything you need to know about joining the military and a conditional green card in the article — it has since I wrote it back in 2011. Please tell me if it is not clear enough so I can update it so that it does.

  15. Cam says:

    I have read some posts about the airforce requing a a 10 year GC. Does that still apply? I heard the airforce was stricter but Your article says it’s okay for conditions GC holders

  16. NCCM(Ret) says:


    All services do for those in a Permanent Resident Alien status — they would have to ship to boot-camp before their USCIS I-551 expires (those cards are issued with extended expiration dates). A Permanent Resident Alien is not the same status as a person in a Conditional one — rules are different.

  17. Cam says:

    Yes I know there’s a difference but on the article it had something written out for conditional GC holders. If I am in a conditional status my card should not expire before bootcamp and I will be in a DEP enlistment in the navy but dont you know the terms for Air Force enlistment?

  18. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The Department of Defense sets the citizenship minimums, and I cannot imagine the Air Force not following that. Either way, if your card expires before your ship date, you will not be allowed to go. If you are in DEP, your recruiter should be doing everything possible to roll you up to ship before that date.

  19. Mikael [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Hi, I’m a permanent resident that is currently in the Delayed Entry Program. I was wondering If I could leave the country for the mean time for like two weeks to get married. My ship date is on the 22nd of February, 2018. Is that even feasible? Your response is greatly appreciated. God bless.

  20. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You can, and it may be feasible; however, if your prospective spouse is not a legal resident of the United States, the spouse would be required to live outside the US until legally admitted and allowed to reside (valid Green card and SSN card). The spouse would not be part of your transferring orders until those criteria are met.

    As to traveling outside the US, you need to discuss with your recruiter as to what application/security documents would require updating.

    If the prospective spouse has dependents, those dependents also become your dependents for waiver purposes. When married, your new family finances (combined) must be reviewed and compared against income, your spouse’s and your projected basic pay.

    A relevant passage within the manual:

    Shipping without verification of dependent’s Social Security numbers is not authorized, with the exception of dependents who are not U.S. citizens and do not reside in the United States. Applicants with foreign alien dependents residing in the United States illegally are not enlistment eligible until their dependents become properly admitted into the United States and obtain a Social Security card, or no longer reside unlawfully in the United States. Any identity document issued in a language other than English must have a certified translation.

  21. NCCM(Ret) says:

    The article has been updated to include the following: Effective, October 13, 2017, all Non United States Citizen (Green Card holders, etc.) MUST have their initial background investigation completed before leaving for boot-camp.

    Those already in the delayed entry program whose investigation is not yet completed may be rolled out to a new date to allow enough time for its completion.

  22. lupe says:

    I’m 17 and want to go take my confirmation test but my recruiter said I need my parents citizenship and residency? Why do they need it?

  23. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I assume your recruiter is completing your application for enlistment — your parents citizenship status must be annotated in the application; if not natural born, then their status must be identified. It is part of the security clearance process all military members go through.

  24. C says:

    Hi what are the possible jobs that don’t require security clearance?

  25. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Visit the enlisted Navy jobs page, and on each rating’s page there is a “Qualifications, Interests, and Working Environment” section. In that section, it will tell you whether you are required to be a citizen or not, and whether or not you would be required to be eligible for a security clearance.

    Everyone gets a background investigation; however, only those that require a security clearance actually gets the required clearance needed to complete their job.

  26. Jarj says:

    My husband is a conditional green card holder. He is currently on DEP. He ships out on March 14 2018. His conditional green card will expire in March. We will be filing his removal of condition on January. Will he able to ship on March 14 or is there a chance that his ship out date eill be moved to a later date. What could be the factors that would affect his ship date?

  27. NCCM(Ret) says:


    He needs to sit down with his recruiter — there are two factors that may disrupt his shipping to boot-camp. First is the new rule for background checks. He must have his investigation fully adjudicated before he can leave for boot-camp; that can take anywhere from two months to over a year for that to happen. Secondly, he cannot ship with an expired card — if the investigation is not adjudicated, and he has have his date rolled out; then he would not be able to ship until he receives his new unexpired card.

  28. Jarj says:

    Just today one of my husband’s reference (based on the information he put in the NASIS) received a letter from US office of Personnel Management which was also sent back theu mail right after the reference signed. What could be the next background check? What else will they check?

  29. Luis says:

    Hi im a marine recruit and my recruiter hasnt answered me back, but I have lost my permanent resident card while on a trip, I was wondering since at MEPS they took all kinds of copies of my greencard would I still need it? Because i am supposed to ship out in a week and i only have my social security number on hand and a photo ID, isnt this all you need?

  30. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The Navy would not let you ship without the card in your possession; I assume the Marine Corps has the same policy, but you’d have to ask them.

  31. Amsy says:

    Hello Sir,

    Thank you for your information. With the new policy of DOD, How soon can I become a naturalized citizen after shipping out for basic training. As it used to before basic training graduation, is it still the same? I heard that its now one year long period after green card holder graduate from their basic training

  32. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Nobody became a Naturalized citizen before boot-camp graduation — the application for citizenship was submitted for naturalization before the conclusion of boot-camp. The process to actually be naturalized could still take months due to the required interviews, etc. The military does not grant citizenship.

    Now, then way I understand the change, the military won’t submit the application until one has served a minimum of six months; that is the minimum time that a person must serve before a characterization of service can be provided (that is for anyone serving/citizen or not). So, once a non-citizen has served six months, the application will be forwarded to start the process of citizenship.

  33. Amsy says:

    Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I really appreciate it. I have one more confusion about one thing, I am a doctor of naturopathic medicine equivalent in the US. And I want to apply for USUHS military medical school in Bethesda, but I cant apply for that even when I have credentials but I’m not a citizen yet. So is it better to enlist in the navy and work through my citizenship and then apply to that med school or I will become a citizen after 3 years through my marriage, so wait for that and then apply for USUHS? I’ve heard that it will be difficult to cancel my enlist contract to go in USUHS MD program?

  34. Patrcia says:

    If a Permanent resident was already in the delayed program, when has the back ground check started? Does the Personnel Management takes into consideration the original shipping date, or they don’t look at that at all? Meaning, if shipping date is May 2018, would they wait and process whoever is leaving sooner, or they will process whoever they have in front of them?
    Is this process the same for all military branches? Or if I️ decided to change to army or Air Force would be different?
    Is it true that they run 2 background checks on internationals? One for FBI and one is what takes longer for the adjudication process? And what is an average time for processing once your file is with a personnel manager?

  35. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The investigation process to ultimate adjudication is the same for everyone whether a citizen or not. When a person DEPs in (doesn’t matter what branch), their investigation is ordered. The investigating agency will then process those in the order they receive them. The only change is now non-citizens must wait until their investigation is fully adjudicated — they are not the first ones that have to wait; nuclear power and warrior challenge folks have always had to wait. the process can take anywhere from two months to over a year — they don’t care what the ship date is. Many nukes and warrior challenge folks have to wait more than a year sometimes, and the Navy has extended the period of time they can be in DEP from a maximum of one year to a year and a half if that time is needed. That same consideration is now made, too, for non-citizens that have to wait for final adjudication.

    Changing branches would only have you start the process over again.

  36. Zia. says:

    hello i want to join us navy. but i don’t have any relatives in us to reside in the us. but i really want to be a us enlisted navy. please help me.

  37. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The United States military cannot sponsor you into the country; you must gain entrance and permanent residence status before you can apply to serve in the Navy.

  38. marco says:

    Ive been in the navy now 6 months. I have a conditional green card that will expire 4 months from now. I started the naturalization process in boot camp and is still awaiting an interview date. I have asked the chain of command about what happens if i run out of status but no one knows the answers. I have called USCIS but all they say is they have the file at their local feild office and they will contact me when they are ready to proceed further. But what if they dont contact me in the 90 days period and i become out of status will i be deported. I would love some advice because I do not know what to do or how to proceed. I am still in the military.

  39. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I recommend that you contact your local JAG officer to ensure the right process to follow, but I think you would ensure your residency status remains legal separate from the Naturalization process. Until you receive your Naturalization papers, I would ensure my residency stayed valid — currently, you have a conditional card, to remove the condition you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. You must do that within 90 days of your conditional card expiring for it to have a chance to be approved before the expiration date. I don’t think waiting on the Naturalization process to conclude somehow extends the expiration date of your current card. Again, talk to a JAG, but I think you should also start filling out the I-751 form to have it ready to send.

  40. Austin says:

    I am presently on conditional green card holder and I am in the process of joining the navy.Am i eligible to apply for naturization at boot camp?

  41. NCCM(Ret) says:


    As of the release of a Department of Defense memo on October 13, 2017, non-citizen applicants must wait for final adjudication of their background check before shipping to boot-camp, and the application can now only be made for Naturalization after serving for a minimum of 180 days. The application process can still take months to complete because the interviews, etc., must still be completed, and that scheduling is up to the USCIS. If your conditional green card is set to expire during that period, you must take steps to complete the conditional to permanent resident status by submitting Form I-751, “Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence” within 90 days of the expiration date.

  42. Dier says:

    So conditional greencard holders have to wait up to 1 year to finish their background check and then keep on waiting up to a year in DEP, so the longest time for green card holders be shipped out to bootcamp is around 2 years, isn’t it? Is there any chance that a green card holder could be shipped out to bootcamp after finishing background investigation? Or they must be in DEP?

  43. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your investigation does not start until you are in the DEP; if your investigation is completed in six months, then you would have been in the DEP for at least six months at that time. You may be able to spend up to one and a half years in the DEP waiting for the investigation to be completed (investigations can take anywhere from a couple of months to over a year to complete). During that time, if your conditional green card is set to expire, you must ensure that you apply for your permanent resident card — you cannot ship to boot-camp with an expired green card, conditional or not.

  44. David says:


    Hope your day is going well. Based on your conversation above, I am still confused about the following–I would really appreciate your help in answering the following:

    Does one have to wait to receive the actual new (extended) physical green card before getting shipped to basic training? Or, is merely filling for: “the conditional to permanent resident status by submitting Form I-751, “Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence” within 90 days of the expiration date” sufficient for getting shipped to basic with this notice (NOT the physical, new green card)?

    With this in mind, I have already received a notice that my permanent residency status has been extended meanwhile the new extension of the green card is being processed. In other words, I am a legal permanent resident-legally within the U.S.

    Again, I understand that one must receive a background check-clearance before being good to go to ship. However, whether I actually do need to have the new physical green card in hand or whether the proof, or, in other words notice proving that I have paid & filed for an extension is sufficient, is still confusing to me.

    Finally, last side question: does being married to an intel officer with TS/SCI clearance does have any relevance (would it possibly speed up the process a bit) in how soon I’d be able to receive my background check-clearance (I know that you have mentioned to others above it is somewhere from 2 months up to 1 full year)?

    Thanks so much for your help. I appreciate it.



  45. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You cannot ship to boot-camp without a valid green card in hand.

    Being married to a Naval Officer does not speed up the process — they don’t put you on top of the pile. Your investigation will be started in the order they recieve it. The investigation can take from two months to over a year. There are a few of those in the Nuclear Power program that must meet the same requirement of investigation completion, and some have had to wait over a year. The Navy has a policy in place that people can stay in the delayed entry program for up to a year and a half to wait for the final adjudication. I would not expect your to take that long only because, I assume, your background has already been pulled and reviewed because your spouse is an Intel Officer. But, again, that status does not place you on a priority list.

  46. David says:

    Thank you for letting me know. I appreciate your time and responding so quickly.

    Final question: since I cannot ship without the (non-expired, meaning, valid) physical green card in hand, is this something that is waiverable?

    Thanks again & have a great weekend.



  47. NCCM(Ret) says:


    From the manual: “Shipping or gaining a permanent resident alien without a valid unexpired USCIS I-551 card in his or her possession is prohibited.”

    I asked the policy folks about any way of getting around that, and I was told no.

  48. Nana says:

    Can anyone help me?
    I’m a permanent resident trying to enlist in the army but unfortunately for me my green card was undelivered but I have an I 551 stamp valid for one year in my passport with other documents proving that I’m a permanent resident. And moreover I have already taken the biometrics for the replacement of my I 551 card. Will I be able to enlist in the military? Thanks

  49. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I do not know whether or not the Army would allow you to DEP in without the card; however, the Navy will if you are listed in SAVE (as it states in the article). DEPping into the Navy is possible, but you CANNOT ship to boot-camp without the valid I-551 card in your possession.

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