The Golden Ticket: Residency For Spouses And Adopted Children Of Military Servicemembers Stationed Overseas

Walton L. DabneyQuestion: I’m in the military married to (or have recently adopted) a person who is not a U.S. citizen. What do I do if I’m being sent overseas and my spouse/child has not yet met the residency requirement to be naturalized?

You have recently created (or add to) your U.S. military family. From the multiple veterans, military spouses and “brats” at Beresford Booth, welcome to the club! If you have married or have adopted a person who has not yet been naturalized and you have been notified of an upcoming overseas assignment, you are probably feeling pretty stressed out.

Do not worry.

This could turn out to be a great accelerator to the naturalization process…. So long as you get your golden ticket – the DDform 1278. It unlocks 8 U.S.C. §1430(b)!

For most people, a spouse or adopted child immigrant needs to live with the citizen that is their spouse/parent for a certain number of years within the U.S.  The DDform 1278 is your golden ticket to skip that step. It’s a form letter called a “Certificate of Overseas Assignment to Support Application to File Petition for Naturalization.” Your commander can fill it out for you if your dependents are enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). This handy form works to waive the residency requirements -meaning one less barrier to citizenship.

Send that form along with your immigration and naturalization form N-400 (for adults) or N-600 (for children). There will be many other forms required, but that DDform 1278 will be the ticket… the golden one!

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