MAVNI Program Status for Fiscal Year 2017 – Deferred Action and Military Naturalization Options

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) recently received notice from the U.S. Department of Defense. The U.S. Army will not accept Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI)  applications for FY 2017 until they complete the revisions.

The MAVNI program is extended for FY2017, starting from OCT 2016 to OCT 2017. However, it is currently suspended due to investigation delay. MAVNI or Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest is an exclusive recruiting program that is beneficial for the immigrants who are interested to be a part of the U.S. military force.

MAVNI enlistees in Delayed Entry Program (DEP) – whose entry has now been delayed or cancelled – have two potential options: (1) Deferred Action and/or (2) Naturalization.

Whether Deferred Action is being granted to reserve members is still a question. DoD seems to permit reserve soldiers fallen out of immigration status or authorized stay to basic training, therefore, DoD no longer views Deferred Action as necessary for reserve members. However, if you are Active Duty, you should apply for deferred action, even if you have other immigration options pending. 

In addition, under military naturalization of INA § 329, MAVNI enlistees already serving honorably on active duty, Selected Reserve, including any drilling Army Reserve MAVNI enlistee whose ship date to BCT is delayed or cancelled, are eligible to naturalize. Naturalization under the wartime naturalization statute does not have a time of service requirement. During the period of hostility, one day of service in the Selective Reserve of the Ready Reserve makes a foreign national, including any drilling Army Reserve MAVNI enlistee that has not shipped to basic training, eligible to naturalize.  

Call today at 913-717-7112 to find out about your options as an MAVNI enlistee.

Author: Maya King

Attorney Maya Y. King helps individuals, families, and businesses navigate the complex United States immigration system.

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