Last month, the Pentagon reopened a program to recruit legal immigrants with special language and medical skills. The small program will enlist roughly 1,500 recruits annually for two years. Military officials said the pilot program brought a well-educated and skilled cohort of immigrants into the armed services. The program is open to immigrants on temporary visas, who otherwise would not be eligible to enlist. It allows them to naturalize as U.S. citizens quickly, in most cases at the end of basic training.
The applicant must be in one of the following categories at time of enlistment
a. asylee, refugee, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or
b. nonimmigrant categories E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U, or V
2. The applicant must have been in valid status in one of those categories for at least two years immediately prior to the enlistment date, but it does not have to be the same category as the one held on the date of enlistment; and
3. An applicant who may be eligible on the basis of a nonimmigrant 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 period immediately preceding the date of enlistment.
4. An applicant who is eligible under #1-3 above is not rendered ineligible by virtue of having a pending application for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence. In the specific case of an alien with H nonimmigrant status at the time of filing a pending application for adjustment of status who has lost such status while his or her application for adjustment was pending, and who is otherwise eligible for enlistment under the MAVNI program, the military Service may on a case-by-case basis waive the requirement that the alien be in a status at the time of enlistment