How International Students Can Join US Military
The United States military is a vital part of American’s security. International students interested in serving in the military may be eligible for a program called MAVNI, or Military Accessions Vital to National Interest.
This program allows certain non-citizens who are legally present in the United States to join the U.S. military. People with critical skills, including physicians, nurses, and experts in certain languages with associated cultural backgrounds, are in great demand.
Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) allows certain non-citizens who are legally present in the United States to join the U.S. military and apply immediately for U.S. citizenship using Form N-400, “Application for Naturalization,” without first obtaining lawful permanent residence.
The program is only available to legal aliens holding critical skills – physicians, nurses and experts in certain languages with associated cultural backgrounds.
F and M students who meet the requirements may apply for MAVNI. Designated school officials (DSOs) should be aware of the program to help participating students make the transition from F or M student to naturalization applicant.
DSOs need to know:
- When to terminate a MAVNI participant’s SEVIS record
- What to do if a MAVNI applicant does not pass basic training and wants to come back to school
- What to do if a student on optional practical training enlists in MAVNI
To learn more about who can apply for MAVNI, download F and M Students and MAVNI: A Guide for Designated School Officials.