Military Accessions Vital to National Interest Program (‘MAVNI’)
Lane Powell Counsel to the Firm Margaret Stock was interviewed by the Immigration Advocates Network for a podcast titled “Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (‘MAVNI’).” During the interview, Stock discussed the MAVNI program, which allows immigrants with certain language skills or medical training to enlist in the military and receive citizenship by the end of basic training.
Interviewer: Can you give us a brief overview of MAVNI and then we’ll break it down into its separate components?
Stock: MAVNI stands for Military Accessions Vital to National Interest. It’s a program that allows certain people who are legally in the United States, but who don’t have green cards to join the U.S. armed forces. If they joined the U.S. armed forces under current military naturalization statutes, they can become American citizens without getting a green card first. So, it allows them to go straight from whatever lawful status that they have, short of a green card, to U.S. citizen in a very short period of time by joining the United States military. And right now, MAVNI is only open to two groups of people — people who are U.S. licensed healthcare professionals, or people who speak one of thirty or more strategic languages that the Department of Defense has identified as being critical languages for the military. So, a typical example of somebody who would benefit from MAVNI would be a J-1 doctor who is U.S. licensed and working in the United States; he doesn’t have a green card yet, but he wants to live permanently in the United States. He can join the U.S. army or the U.S. army reserve and go straight to being a U.S. citizen within about a month or two.
Stock also commented on the MAVNI program in a February 28 Associated Press article titled “US Army Offers Citizenship Track for Needed Skill.”