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New Shipping Requirement for Non-Citizens

Navy Green Card Holder Hold Ups

Updated: October 20, 2017

With the announcement one week ago today, October 13, 2017, by the Department of Defense Chief of Accessions, Stephanie Miller, of, “Effective immediately, all green card holders must complete a background investigation and receive a favorable military suitability determination prior to entering any component of the armed forces” came many questions to my blog and email from applicants and Future Sailors alike.

Most of the questions are similar to one I received by one Future Sailor. His question was this: “I am currently in DEP as a green card holder, and I was informed by my recruiter that my original ship date will be delayed due to a new protocol of an additional background investigation. How long will these background checks last?”

First, it isn’t an additional background check. For those enlisting in the Navy, it is the same one that you have already been submitted for in the Navy Accession Security Information System (NASIS). The change is that now, just like for those entering the Navy Nuclear Power Program and Warrior Challenge, Non-citizens (Green Card Holders, and those who may enter via the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program in the future – Navy MAVNI is currently closed) must wait until the background investigation has been full adjudicated before they can ship to boot-camp. Previously, the investigation request only had to be properly submitted to NASIS before shipping to boot-camp.

Due to the thoroughness of the background investigation, final adjudication can take anywhere from two months to over a year to receive back.

I estimate non-citizens make up roughly two percent of the total Navy Delayed Entry Program (DEP).

Due to this new requirement and the time it can take to receive the final adjudication, a large chunk of the green card holders currently in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) will be required to have their boot-camp shipping date moved out into the future. Figuring there are roughly seven to eight hundred currently in DEP, this is an administrative burden on recruiting command, but a potential nightmare for those affected. Beyond having to plan for a new future date, this could also require the Future Sailor to change jobs as the current one may not be available on the new out-month shipping date.

The military wide ship date roll-out scenario many of those currently in DEP will have to endure over the next couple of weeks will not be nearly as wide spread for those currently in the process of enlisting. For non-citizens in the process of joining or just thinking about the military as an option for the future, do not expect to leave for boot-camp anytime soon. Be prepared to spend many months in the DEP.

10 Responses to “Navy Green Card Holder Hold Ups”

  1. Athan. says:

    When do navy usually start the background check process? Is it when you start your DEP-in or after you ship to boot camp?

  2. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The request for the investigation is put in when a person enters the DEP. That is for everyone. It is only those who enlisted for the nuclear power program, warrior challenge program, and non-citizens that must wait until the investigation has been fully adjudicated. For everyone else, they can ship to boot-camp once they have been confirmed in the system that the investigation has started.

  3. Shiki says:

    How long will the background check take if two weeks after MEPS and going into DEP I became a citizen?

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If you are Naturalized and receive your completed INS Naturalization certificate while in DEP, then you would be able to ship to boot-camp immediately (provided your job is available on a sooner date) because you would no longer be required to have the investigation fully adjudicated to ship. For citizens who are not entering the nuclear power program or a warrior challenge rating to ship, they only have to have their investigation request made; they can await final adjudication while in the Navy.

  5. Frank says:

    Iam a green card holder on DEP, i was supposed to ship to boot camp on 13th this month, I called my recruiter to inform him that I will be having my last dep meeting tomorrow as scheduled but instead surprised me that my shipping has been postponed till April next year. Can I use the opportunity to change my rating since Iam not impressed with the current one

  6. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It is possible — you need to discuss it with your recruiter; however, just because they put you in April doesn’t mean your investigation may be fully adjudicated in April; they may have to roll you out again. Changing your job is possible — sometimes you won’t have a choice if the original job or program is no longer available for the timeframe you are eligible to leave — the longer it takes for the adjudication, the smaller the window of time that you can leave.

  7. Igor says:

    Will my recrutier be acknowledged after an investigation will be over or it is out of his competence? Is there are some ways to speed it up?

  8. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I do not know the notification process within your NRD for adjudicated investigations. I suspect that they have a process that will check to ensure it is returned within a designated period of time before your actual shipping date, but you would have to ask him.

    There is no way to speed up the investigation.

  9. Marcus says:

    I,m currently in the delayed entry program but my green card is about to expire. Can you be ship if your green card is about to expire in 6month

  10. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You must ship to boot-camp before your card expires — even if it is the day before.

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