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  • DEERS/Citizenship

    Obviously it's best to register a dependant as soon as possible through DEERS, is it ever too soon? Like, would the day after you get married be too soon? Is the process of registering a dependant relatively simple or is it a real pain? Also, my fiance is not a US citizen but under a student-visa (I-20). Once we get married, what are the steps I need to take to get the ball rolling for citizenship for her? Thanks

  • #2
    Re: DEERS/Citizenship

    Registering your new wife with DEERS is not a problem, as most can be done by your unit, and it will be verified when you go to get her a dependent ID card. You will (based on my experience) have to get your unit copies of the marriage certificate/license, a copy of each page of her passport to include the visa page, if you have it a certified copy of her birth certificate (with a certified translation if needed) that may be required as well.

    To get the other ball rolling you will have to contact US Citizenship and Immigration Service (start by visiting their website) as you will have to find out how to get her status changed from "student" to resident alien status, and it will take time to get this happening - as well she will be a temporary resident for a couple of years before you can file for legal permanent resident status - then you have to wait a few years after that to petition/file for Citizenship. This immigration stuff is the part that will not only be a lengthy mind-numbing and frustrating process, but it will be expensive as well as the filing fees are not cheap in any sense - and it will be time consuming to do the paperwork as well. Once you have a lot of this established, you will need to make sure your unit has copies of what it needs as well.
    Last edited by LRSU_Dog; May 5th, 2011, 10:16 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: DEERS/Citizenship

      Thanks. I called USCIS today and got a laundry list of forms that we need to fill out. As for registering with DEERS, do I have to go through my unit to have them actually do the registering or can I do it myself and just update them with the forms they need?

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      • #4
        Re: DEERS/Citizenship

        Also, how would I go about changing the beneficiaries of my SGLI?

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        • #5
          Re: DEERS/Citizenship

          You go to the DEERS center at any military installation to register your dependents. Bring the required documentation and forms to get your spouse added. Then you can see your dependents in AKO under DEERS.

          Also, your BN S1 can handle updating your SGLI.

          I know Guardsmen that used an Immigration Lawyer for the resident and naturalization process. It is very costly. Becoming a citizen is shorter process if you are serving your country.

          You can go to your JAG for information. Also, I know soldiers that made other relatives their dependents and this made the resident process move quicker as well.

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          • #6
            Re: DEERS/Citizenship

            I would HIGHLY recommend checking out the advice forums on www.visajourney.com - there are a lot of non-US Citizen military spouses on there who could help you out. I used the website to guide me through getting a Green Card right through to Citizenship, no lawyers or anything involved!

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