This year, in February, the U.S. Army started a new recruiting pilot program for foreign healthcare professionals. Titled “Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest” (“MAVNI”), the new pilot program allows certain non-citizens who are legally present in the United States to join the Army and apply immediately for expedited U.S. citizenship, without first obtaining lawful permanent residence.
MAVNI will initially recruit about 300 healthcare professionals (doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, nurses, and others) nationwide. Aside from the healthcare workers, MAVNI is set to recruit about 500 persons who speak certain critical foreign languages.
The MAVNI pilot program is scheduled to end on December 31, 2009, or whenever the Army meets its projected recruiting needs.
MAVNI allows certain non-citizens who are already legally present in the United States to enlist. The Office of the Secretary of Defense set the immigration eligibility criteria for the program. Anyone who currently holds asylee, refugee, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or one of numerous non-immigrant statuses (E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U, or V) may be eligible.
A non-citizen must have held one of those legal statuses for at least two years; having changed between these statuses during the two-year period will not bar enlistment. In addition, if the person holds a non-immigrant status (E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U, or V), he or she cannot have had a single absence from the United States of more than 90 days in the past two years (multiple absences are apparently fine, as long as no single trip exceeded 90 days).
Persons whose status is not listed in the eligibility criteria cannot enlist under this pilot program. Thus, those holding B visa or other visitor status—including those who entered on the Visa Waiver Program—are not eligible. Undocumented immigrants, non-citizens in overstay, and those who have violated their status are not eligible.
MAVNI applicants need not be Lawful Permanent Residents (aka “Green Card” holders) prior to naturalizing under this Pilot Program. Under current provisions of the wartime military enlistment statute, anyone serving honorably in the United States Armed Forces is eligible to naturalize, regardless of immigration status. Wartime military naturalization applicants pay no fees for filing their naturalization applications. No minimum period of honorable service is required prior to filing for wartime naturalization, and applicants are exempt from the residency and physical presence requirements that apply to other naturalization applicants.
Persons interested in MAVNI, should contact their local U.S. Army Recruiter for more details.
MAVNI enlistees are not ordinarily eligible for U.S. citizenship under the regular naturalization statutes; because they do not have Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) status, they are only eligible to apply for US citizenship under the wartime military naturalization statute. This statute allows for revocation of U.S. citizenship if the enlistee does not complete five (5) years of honorable military service.
Health Care Professionals:
Professional Medical Specialties To Be Recruited Under the Army MAVNI Pilot Program
Regular Army Medical Corps
61F Internal Medicine
61H Family Practice
63A General Dentist
63M Oral Surgeon
Army Nurses: All specialties
Army Reserve Medical Corps
60C Preventive Medicine
61G Infectious Disease Officer
61F Internal Medicine
61H Family Practice
61J General Surgeon
61K Thoracic Surgeon
61M Orthopedic Surgeon
62A Emergency Medicine
61L Plastic Surgeon
63A General Dentistv 63F Prosthodontist
63B Comprehensive Dentist
63N Oral Surgeon
66H Medical Surgical Nurse
66H8A Critical Care Nurse
66F Nurse Anesthetist
66E Operating Room Nurse
66N Generalist Nurse
Specialist and Medical Service Corps
65D Physician Assistant
72A Nuclear Medicine
73B Clinical Psychologist
71E Clinical Laboratory
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 (see below)
- Applicants must meet all existing enlistment eligibility criteria
- Applicants must enlist for at least 4 years of active duty
(Services may add additional requirements)
Enlisted Army Military Occupational Health Care Specialties Available to MAVNI Enlistees with Language Skills
68A Biomedical Equipment Repairer
68D Operating Room Specialist
68E Dental Specialist
68G Patient Administration Specialist
68H Optical Laboratory Specialist
68J Medical Logistics Specialist
68K Medical Laboratory Specialist
68M Nutrition Care Specialist
68P Radiology Specialist
68Q Pharmacy Specialist
68R Veterinary Food Inspection Specialist
68S Preventive Medicine Specialist
68T Animal Care Specialist
68V Respiratory Specialist
68W Health Care Specialit
68W1 Combat Medic
Languages Specifically Sought
- Persian [Dari & Farsi]
- Pushtu (aka Pashto)