Navy Cyberspace Surface Ship Website Header

New Shipping Requirement for Non-Citizens Pg-1

Navy Green Card Holder Hold Ups

Updated: October 20, 2017

80 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.

  11. David says:

    I was supposed to leave oct 17th but got delayed as well due to this new policy

  12. Igor says:

    David, how long is your dealt if it is not a secret and for how long have you been in DEP?

  13. Stephanie says:

    I have been in DEP for 4 months I was estimated to ship January but apparently that wont be happening because Im a green card holder. Will it really take that long? Even if my process started 4 months ago?

  14. Kip says:

    Hi, I have been held up for background check. My recruiter has already changed my rating to engineering/fireman, I’m aware it’s not a straight rating and will just be doing general work. Was it right for him to do so without my consent? And is it possible for me to request for a rating that will take me directly to A school after boot camp?

  15. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If your investigation has not been adjudicated, then they had two choices; either discharge you or roll you out. Discharging you would have stopped the investigation. I assume they tried to find the same job you had because it is easier, but it must not have been available. So, they had to put you in something that was which you otherwise qualified for. If your investigation is not fully adjudicated by your new date, expect to be rolled out again. Because it can take some time for investigations to be returned, the Navy is allowing non-citizens to stay in the DEP for up to one and a half years; it is the same length of time that those waiting one the same investigation who are in the nuclear power and warrior challenge programs.

    Because they are not sure when you can ship, I expect they have you in a job right now as a placeholder; I have no way of knowing — I recommend that you have this conversation with your recruiter.

  16. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The investigation was ordered just after you entered the DEP, and, yes, it can take anywhere from two months to over a year for the investigation to be finally adjudicated.

  17. Shown says:

    Hi!I would like to ask a question. I signed in September and is currently a green card holder. If I have not passed a background check before the age of 40, will I be terminated and I am not eligible to join the Navy?

  18. NCCM(Ret) says:


    That is correct, if you are no longer eligible to ship to boot-camp for any reason, including age, then you must be discharged.

  19. Andre says:

    I passed all the tests ready to go to boot camp I want to apply for a citizenship but I have a green card when can I apply and how long it’s gonna take me to become a us citizen

  20. 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 in the service. 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 green card is set to expire during that period, you must take steps to renew it before the expiration date.

  21. Henry says:

    In addition to Shown’s questions. Is there a possibility of age waivers, in case you cross the enlistment age by a few weeks or months due to the delay? Some branches expect up to 15 months for background investigations to finish.

  22. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The Navy does not entertain age waivers for applicants seeking enlistment. I do not know whether or not the other services will, but I doubt it.

  23. Valentina says:

    Hi, I’m a green card holder and I already had my interview with the background investigator last week. When you say it can take from 2 months to a year does that mean before or after meeting the investigator?
    Thank you for your help.

  24. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It means from the date the investigation was ordered (just after you DEPed in).

  25. Igor says:

    Valentina, how long did it take from the date you sign the contract till this meeting with investigator?

  26. Valentina says:

    Hi Igor, I signed my contract in August 2017 so about 4 months.

  27. Valentina says:

    Dear NCCM(Ret),
    Great! so it shouldn’t take so long. Thank you for the help and support you provide to future sailors on this website.

  28. Austin says:


    How was the meeting set up? Did you receive a letter and did you had to go to there office?

  29. Igor says:

    Valentina, i apologize but i am trying to figure out approximate time because since i sign the contract and my ship date are 110 days, can you pls tell did it take more or less than 110 days for you?

  30. Valentina says:

    The guy called and literally showed up the same day and you arrange where to meet.

    Yes it took more than 110 days, I’m still not shipping yet.

    [Admin note: Valentina, you used a different email address than before; I have updated this post to use your original email address — NCCM]

  31. Nick says:

    I know this is a website for the navy but I am in a similar scenario. I enlisted in the national guard June 2017, and was supposed to ship to basic training but this has been delayed due to the same reason as many of you since I am a green card holder. Does this mean I will be getting chaptered out of the army or how long till the clearance is approved, I have not yet been contacted for a meeting and I enlisted about 6 months ago. Thank you and responses are appreciated

  32. NCCM(Ret) says:


    It is for all branches of service. I recommend that you contact your recruiter for specifics.

  33. Nick says:

    Thank you for your reply I have contacted my recruiter and he has no information on the topic, intact he was not even aware of the issue. Thanks again

  34. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Your boot-camp date has been delayed due to the reason listed in the article, but your recruiter doesn’t know anything about it? Who told you that your date was delayed? I recommend that you call them.

  35. Nick says:

    I was told this information by my master sergeant at drill, this is all the information provided to me. When I spoke to him again today I was told they are still not sure when I will ship. Thank you again i understand there is not much else you can tell me either. Is there plans to change this rule or update it anytime soon. I am sure it is leaving many other recruits in limbo and also stalling recruitment.

  36. Marcus says:

    I was told that you most be in the enlistment program for one year before you can be shipped to boot camp.

  37. NCCM(Ret) says:


    For non-citizens, nukes, and warrior challenge applicants, you cannot ship until your investigation has been fully adjudicated. If your DEP time must be extended, it can be for up to an additional six months. The investigation can take just a couple of months or up to over a year. Again, Navy DEP time can be extended for this reason to a maximum of 1.5 years.

  38. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I know of no plans to change the current mandatory wait for the final investigation adjudication.

  39. Bryan says:


    I’m supposed to ship out in four weeks. I contacted my recruiter last week, and he told me my ship date is still the same. I didn’t get contacted by an investigator, but my recruiter tells me that my original ship date should not change. I’m feeling so anxious. Is it definite that my ship date will change?

  40. NCCM(Ret) says:


    If you are a non-citizen, and your investigation has been adjudicated, then you will be able to ship on your ship date. If you are a U.S. citizen, and you are not entering the nuclear power or the warrior challenge program, you do not have to wait for your investigation to be adjudicated and you will be able to ship on your current ship date. Your recruiter should be able to find out if the investigation has been completed or not.

  41. Austin says:


    What happens if I am in boot camp during the period that I have to apply to remove conditions on my green card?

  42. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I have sent an email to Navy RTC asking about specifics. When I hear back, I will post the answer(s) here.

  43. Ben says:

    I was DEPed-in July 2017 and i was supposed to go to bootcamp on Januray 2018, but due to the new policy, i recently found out that my ship out date got moved on July 2018, which i think is a really long wait.

    * Does the investigation really takes that long?
    * Is it possible that if ever the background investigation is finished early, I can ship out sooner than my new ship out date?
    * How is the Background Investigation going to be? Am i suppose to get a call and meet with someone?

    Thank you in advance.

  44. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The time the investigation takes can hinge on many factors; they can take just a couple of months to over a year to complete. It sounds like they rolled you to your one year in DEP time with a hope that your investigation is completed before then — they will want you to ship to boot-camp as soon as they get it back; they don’t want you sitting in the DEP any longer than you have to. If they would have rolled you out just a couple of months, and the investigation hasn’t been completed, they would have to roll you out again — this way, they only roll you out the one time and only have to complete any more administrative action is when the investigation is returned. Hope that makes sense. I recommend having this conversation with your recruiter, too.

  45. Jason says:


    I’ve recently completed ASVAB test and am in the process of choosing my job in US Navy.
    I’m interested in becoming an Info System Technician. However, I am a Green Card Holder, and I want to ask if that position requires citizenship. In case it does, is there any chance that I can start A School after I get naturalized upon completion of the boot camp. And how long does it take to get naturalized after I graduate from the boot camp?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

  46. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Information Systems Technician applicants must be U.S. citizens and meet eligibility requirements for access to sensitive compartmented information (SCI). Eligibility for a Top Secret clearance is determined by the results of a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) followed by a reinvestigation every five years. Applicant’s immediate family members, including parents, sibling(s), and spouse, must be U.S. citizens or from a low risk country as defined by Intelligence Community Directive 704.

    With the policy change that announced the requirement for a completed investigation before shipping, it also announced a six month minimum period of service before the application will be endorsed by the military (six months is the period of time before the military can annotate a characterization of service). The application for Naturalization cannot begin until you have served six months on active duty. The process itself once your application is made to USCIS can take a few months to complete. Plan on whatever rating you enlist and ship to boot-camp with being the job you have for at least your first enlistment.

  47. Jason says:

    Thank you for your helpful response.

    I’m scheduled for a Physical Exam in January. I want to ask if after the exam, I will have to sit down to discuss my job with a recruiter.
    If my interested job is not available by the time of the conversation, will it be possible for me to be in the wait list for the job?
    Also, as you mentioned Green Card Holder will have to wait till the investigation is adjudicated, I assume the recruiter won’t tell me the date of shipping to bootcamp.

    I’ve read and many people talked about DEP. Will I be automatically be enrolled in DEP?

  48. NCCM(Ret) says:


    When you go to MEPS and pass your physical, they will expect you to take a job and join. Your ship date will be dependent on the job you take. Once you join, you will be in the DEP (everyone that joins enters the DEP, and you cannot enter the DEP without joining). Once in DEP, your investigation will be ordered. If your investigation is not adjudicated before your ship date, then you would have to either be rolled out to a later date or discharged. You will not be shown what jobs you qualify for until you pass your physical; there is no waiting list for jobs — you will be offered what is available and what you qualify for.

  49. JC says:

    I have a friend who is a current greencard holder and is currently in the DEP for the Navy, and his ship out date was pushed back 5 months because of the new requirements for non-citizens. He mostly decided to enlist because he was feeling stagnant at his job, but his situation has since changed and is now regretting his choice to enlist. After doing some research, I learned that while it’s generally frowned upon, enlistees can still be administratively discharged if they submit a letter of resignation/withdrawal before they get shipped out for boot camp.

    My main question is around his ability to be a citizen if he decides to not follow through with his enlistment. I’m reading mixed messages about this and wanted to get some input. Any information is greatly appreciated.

  50. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Being DEP discharged for refusing to ship to boot-camp has zero impact on one’s ability to otherwise gain citizenship. He or she just would not get the accelerated opportunity service in the military provides. If one wants to discharge from DEP, all they need to do is tell their recruiter.

  51. Jason says:


    While in DEP, is it possible for me to travel to my home country for 2 weeks?
    My job won’t require security clearance as I’m a green card holder. However, I’m afraid traveling back may affect the time of background investigation.

    Please advise! Thank you!

  52. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I have no idea what traveling outside the United States will do to your investigation processing — having to wait until final adjudication before shipping is a relatively new thing; it was not a requirement for anyone back when I was part of Navy Recruiting Command. I highly recommend that you ask your recruiter.

  53. Shawn says:

    I would like to ask you since the implementation of this new Ministry of Defense policy. Have you ever heard of any green card holder successfully passed the background check and shipped to boot camp? thank you!

  54. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I know that non-citizens are shipping to boot-camp with adjudicated investigations. They are ones who had been in DEP for quite some time.

  55. Karlye. says:

    Thank you for taking the time out to answer the questions and keeping us posted. I must say I check the forum at least 5 times per day because I’m excited about joining and is anxious and ready to go. You’ve been great help and for that I appreciate you. Happy holidays

  56. Jason says:

    Hi NCCM(Ret):

    I signed a contract as a Culinary Specialist. According to your information, A School for CS is 9 weeks.
    I saw in the contract, it says additional 12 month volunteer work. I was not sure what means.
    Normally, after A School, an enlist will be assigned a station right? Is there a chance or possibility that the enlist can pick a station?

    Look forward to hearing from you.


  57. Mikey says:

    Hello I have a quick question. Like everyone else I’m too a future sailor whose date was push back. I enlisted October was suppose to ship Janay 16. My question is does your country birth plays a role on your process timeline?? Since they’re gathering background information for clearance.

  58. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I have no idea what the specific process is, all I know is that every single person who joins gets this thorough background investigation and it can take anywhere from a couple of months to over a year to complete. I do know that there are some nukes and warrior challenge folks that have had to wait longer than a year, and they were born in the United States. I just have no idea.

  59. Mikey says:

    I understand. Well with Nukes they are require top Secret clearance compared to me who has a pct seaman job so from my understanding there clearance process is longer due to background back track to about 10 years ya know but thanks for the response

  60. NCCM(Ret) says:


    They, like a good number of ratings, must be eligible for a security clearance, but Nukes do not require an SSBI investigation for a Top Secret clearance.

  61. David says:

    Is there anyone to call to make the background check process faster?

  62. Marcus says:

    Hello , I,m a green card holder and my shipping date was pushed forward. But today my recruiter told me “I have good news for you , your background check is completed so we just waiting for it to be published “ I want to ask how long can it take to be published?

  63. Nick says:

    Hey marcus,
    Congratulations. I was just wondering if you would be able to tell me how long you have been enlisted and if/when did you have your interview.
    I have been enlisted for 7 months and my background check is still not complete.


  64. TK says:

    So, is the kind of background check they are doing on us(non-citizen, green card holding future sailors) different from the one they do for MAVNI soldiers(no green card)? Is the level of investigation about the same?

  65. Marcus says:

    I was enlisted in July 2016 and the people I referred as friends were interviewed in October. I also hard my interview in November.

  66. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The initial background investigation for enlistment is the same for everyone who joins.

  67. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Basically, here is how it works. When you DEP in, Navy recruiting command then submits your investigation request, and then the investigation starts. It isn’t the Navy or the Department of Defense that actually does the investigation. So, when the investigation is completed, the investigating agency will then notify the organization that made the investigation request — for the Navy Future Sailors, that, of course, is Navy recruiting command. Now, Navy recruiting command forwards the completed investigation to the Department of Defense and wait for “green light” to ship. Could be just a few days to a few weeks. Pain in the butt, for sure, but you are very close. Congratulations!

  68. Marcus says:

    Thanks you are amazing

  69. David says:

    wow it took Marcus 1 year and 4 months to get the background check done and hes still not shipping… /: I dont know what to do anymore.

  70. Nick says:

    Yes seriously this is horrible

  71. Nick says:

    Also Marcus did you mean you enlisted July 2017, because this rule for the background chreck needing to be completed only came into play October 13, 2017. So if your ship date was before that you should have been able to ship.

  72. Marcus says:

    Yes sorry about that error. July 2017. About 6month now.

  73. Nick says:


    I am a green card holder that has been enlisted and drilling in the national guard for 7 months now. My recruiter has just informed I should be getting a new ship date this week, however I still have not been interviewed for the background investigation. Any idea how this is possible or has something changed that I am not aware of?

  74. Karlye says:

    Hey nick,

    Did you get any other word from your recruiter??

  75. Shawn says:

    Hi,everyone,I am a green card holder,I signed the contract on Sep-11-2017.And today I got a e-mail from KeyPoint solutions,they told me to contact them,that means somebody will interview me,my shipping date is mar-05-2018,I think I will be delayed 100%.And on January-26-2019 I will be 40,if my background check can not be complete before that date,so that means I can not be a sailor.Has any green card holder passed background check after Oct-13-2017?Please tall us.

Leave a Reply

Before asking a question, please read the article and comments -- your question may already be answered! Here is a site search to assist you:

A Navy recruiting blog that delves into the military enlistment process and benefits of service. This is NOT an official United States Navy or government web site. The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with any branches of the government or military.

©Navy Cyberspace. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise noted, content written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET).

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy