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December 18, 2008

FAQ: What are the details of the new Defense Department Visa Program?

Answer; Here is an FAQ from the DoD;

MILITARY ACCESSIONS VITAL TO NATIONAL INTEREST (MAVNI)
RECRUITMENT PILOT
The Secretary of Defense authorized the military services to recruit certain legal aliens whose skills are considered to be vital to the national interest. Those holding critical skills – physicians, nurses, and certain experts in language with associated cultural backgrounds – would be eligible. To determine its value in enhancing military readiness, the limited pilot program will recruit up to 1,000 people, and will continue for a period of up to 12 months.

ELIGIBILITY
1. The applicant must be in one of the following categories at time of enlistment a. asylee, refugee, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or b. nonimmigrant categories E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U, or V
2. The applicant must have been in valid status in one of those categories for at least two years immediately prior to the enlistment date, but it does not have to be the same category as the
one held on the date of enlistment; and
3. An applicant who may be eligible on the basis of a nonimmigrant category at time of enlistment (see 1b above) must not have had any single absence from the United States of more than 90 days during the two year period immediately preceding the date of enlistment.
Health Care Professionals
• Applicants must fill medical specialties where the service has a shortfall
• Applicants must meet all qualification criteria required for their medical specialty, and the criteria for foreign-trained DoD medical personnel recruited under other authorities
• Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English
• Applicants must commit to at least 3 years of active duty, or six years in the Selected Reserve Enlisted Individuals with Special Language and Culture Backgrounds
• Applicants must possess specific language and culture capabilities in a language critical to DoD
• Applicants must demonstrate a language proficiency
• Applicants must meet all existing enlistment eligibility criteria
• Applicants must enlist for at least 4 years of active duty
(Services may add additional requirements)

-MORELanguages
• Albanian
• Amharic
• Arabic
• Azerbaijani
• Bengali
• Burmese
• Cambodian-Khmer
• Chinese
• Czech
• Hausa
• Hindi
• Hungarian
• Igbo
• Indonesian
• Korean
• Kurdish
• Lao
• Malay
• Malayalam
• Moro
• Nepalese
• Persian [Dari &
Farsi]
• Polish
• Punjabi
• Pushtu (aka Pashto)
• Russian
• Sindhi
• Sinhalese
• Somali
• Swahili
• Tamil
• Turkish
• Turkmen
• Urdu
• Yoruba

BACKGROUND
Non-citizens have served in the military since the Revolutionary War. The Lodge Act of 1950 permitted non-citizen Eastern Europeans to enlist between 1950 and 1959. Additionally, the United States officially began recruiting Filipino nationals into the Navy in the late 1940s, when it signed the Military Bases Agreement of 1947 allowing U.S. military bases in the Philippines. In total, over
35,000 Filipinos enlisted in the Navy through the program between 1952 and 1991.

Today, about 29,000 non-citizens serve in uniform, and about 8,000 legal permanent resident aliens (green card holders) enlist each year. Law ensures that the sacrifice of non-citizens during a time of
national need is met with an opportunity for early citizenship, to recognize their contribution and sacrifice.

In fact, today's service members are eligible for expedited citizenship under a July 2002 Executive Order, and the military services have worked closely with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to streamline citizenship processing for service members. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 43,000 members of the Armed Forces have attained their citizenship while serving this nation.

Posted by VisaLawyer at December 18, 2008 07:26 AM

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