U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will host more than 40 Veterans Day-themed naturalization ceremonies across the country this year, where veterans, service members and military spouses will become America’s newest citizens. More than 7,500 people will take the Oath of Allegiance in these ceremonies that honor the sacrifices military members and their families made by serving our country. Of those being naturalized, many are veterans, service members and military spouses, to which we as a nation owe a special gratitude.
USCIS is committed to bringing immigration services to members of our military and their families. We serve current and former military members wherever they are, offering an expedited naturalization application process and overseas processing for military members, as well as specialized customer service with dedicated phone lines (877-CIS-4MIL) and email support. In the last 15 years, more than 118,000 service members have become U.S. citizens in 35 foreign countries, including Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq, Japan and South Korea.
“Veterans and their families experience incredible sacrifices to defend the rights and liberties that we enjoy in this great country. It’s my honor to recognize these brave women and men on Veterans Day and every day,” USCIS Director León Rodríguez said. “Among them are thousands of immigrants, many of whom risked their lives and vowed to defend our nation before they were even citizens.”
USCIS works with military installations to provide services on-site and currently has offices located on Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Jackson, South Carolina. These offices identify recruits who may be eligible for naturalization. We also provide information about immigration and naturalization to service members and veterans at military installations, Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, universities and various military organizations.
In addition to those efforts, USCIS also recently began allowing certain Filipino World War II veteran family members who are beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions an opportunity to receive a discretionary grant of parole on a case-by-case basis, so that they may come to the United States as they wait for their immigrant visa to become available.
USCIS’ Veterans Day activities this year will feature a naturalization ceremony at the USS Constellation, located at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland, on Nov. 11. During this event, Rodríguez will administer the Oath of Allegiance and give congratulatory remarks. Follow us on Facebook to view a live stream of this ceremony.
Other ceremonies include events at:
- Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis, Missouri, on Nov. 10.
- Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 11.
- American Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14.
- Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California, on Nov. 15.
To view a complete list of 2016 Veterans Day-themed naturalization ceremonies, visit uscis.gov/news.
USCIS invites new citizens, and their families and friends, to share their experiences and photos from the ceremonies through Twitter and other social media using the hashtag #newUScitizen. Read about military and veteran immigrants we have highlighted on our Instagram with hashtag #MeetUS. The Department of Veterans Affairs is asking those using social media on Veterans Day to use hashtag #HonoringVets for any holiday-appropriate content.
Learn more about the military and USCIS at USCIS.gov/military. For additional information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), Instagram (@uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.