The United States, with its esteemed military forces, offers a unique opportunity for international students to serve their adopted nation through the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program. This program opens a door for non-citizens to join the U.S. military, provided they meet specific eligibility criteria. In this blog post, we delve into the details of the MAVNI program and its requirements for international students. Gain direct US Citizenship Without Permanent Resident Status.
The one-year MAVNI pilot program allows the military to recruit up to 1,000 non-citizens who do not have permanent resident status, but who have been in US legally for at least two years. These individuals must have medical skills or foreign language skills together with cultural expertise that the military is seeking.
Valid F-1 status: Must be in valid F-1 status and have at least two years of study
Physical Fitness: Must meet physical fitness standards for the military
Language and Cultural Skills: Must possess language and cultural skills deemed vital to military interests
Background Check: Must pass a thorough background check
Good Moral Character: Must demonstrate good moral character and be willing to take an oath of allegiance to the United States
Specifically, a foreign national must meet the following eligibility requirements:
1.The applicant must be an Asylee or refugee, in Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or in one of the enumerated non-immigrant categories (including E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U, or V) at the time of enlistment;
2.The foreign national must have been in valid status in one of the above listed categories for at least two years immediately prior to the enlistment date. However, the two years of presence does not have to be the same category as the one held on the date of enlistment; and
3. A foreign national who may be eligible on the basis of a non-immigrant category at time of enlistment must not have had any single absence from the United States of more than 90 days during the two year eligibility period.
4. Health Care Professionals: Foreign nationals seeking appointment as a health care professional must:
Fill medical specialties where the military has a shortfall of qualified doctors or nurses;
Meet all qualification criteria required for their medical specialty and the criteria for foreign-trained DoD medical personnel recruited under other authorities;
Demonstrate proficiency in English: and
Commit to at least 3 years of active duty, or six years in the Selected Reserve
5. Foreign nationals with Special Language Skills and Cultural Backgrounds must:
Possess specific language and cultural capabilities in a language critical to DoD;
Demonstrate proficiency in a critical language;
Meet all existing enlistment eligibility criteria; and
Enlist for at least 4 years of active duty
How to Apply for MAVNI
At this time, the U.S. military has stopped accepting applications for the MAVNI program.
When the MAVNI program was accepting applications, you would have to share your passport, I-94 card, I-797 Notice of Action, your employment authorization document, or other government issued documents proving your legal presence in the United States. Applicants would have to go through background checks, security screenings, and meet all the other general requirements of becoming a U.S. citizen.
The Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program stands as a beacon of opportunity for international students who dream of serving in the United States military. As we await the reinstatement of the MAVNI program, it's essential for prospective candidates to stay informed and prepared. So, stay tuned, for as soon as the program is reinstated, we'll be here to provide you with the latest updates and insights.