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Can A Non-US Citizen Join The Air Force- Advice From A Recruiter

Updated on October 21, 2012

Advice From An Air Force Recruiter For Non US Citizens

Can a Non-Citizen Join the Air Force?

Upon first thought, most people think that a non US citizen cannot join the Air Force but this is actually a mistake. It is not an easy process and most recruiters are not familiar with exactly how to process a non us citizen applicant, but it can be done and is allowed. Due to the lack of experience most recruiters have going through the process, they tend to shy away from such applicants. This means that if you are not a citizen and you want to join the Air Force I recommend you be thoroughly prepared to do most of the legwork. It is up to you the non US citizen to get all of the appropriate paper work together that the recruiter requests in a prompt manner, this will show that you mean business and will encourage the recruiter to work with you more closely. The only thing is federal laws does prohibit them from becoming a commissioned or a warrant officer. The Air Force allows non citizens to enlist for one term only. To reenlist you have to gain your US citizenship.

Although non citizens can enlist in the Air Force, the jobs that they can get are limited. A lot of the jobs require security clearances which can only be obtained by US citizenship. There are 46 occupations in the Air Force that do not require citizenship. Once you have received your citizenship then you can be reclassified and change your occupation.

The first thing that must be in order is that the person must be in the United States legally. You must have green card and permanently residing the United States and you had to have immigrated to the US through normal procedures and then enlist. The Air Force will not help you in obtaining your green card.

One of the rules, and remember each branch of the military does have its own rules and regulations about enlistment is that if you have served in the military in another country then you cannot enlist in the US military. If you do not have enough time on your green card left in order for you to complete your enlistment. But once you are in the military it is easier for you to get your United State citizenship as preference is given to those in the military. It normally takes five years of being a permanent resident in order to become a citizen, but when in the military it only takes three years. If you are in the military during a wartime it’s even less.

You must also have your high school diploma. This is the rule for anyone who wants to enlist, they must have their degree. You must also be between the age of 17 and 27. You must also be able to read and write English fluently.

So you have decided that you want to enlist in the military. You question is “how do I join the Air Force”. It is up to you to gather the correct documentation to present to your recruiter as most will not do the necessary leg work. Your getting the necessary documentation together shows the recruiter that you really want to enlist, that you are not doing it just to get your citizenship. These are the documents that you need. You need your green card, you need your birth certificate, you need proof that you have your high school diploma and this varies as to what each country gives to their students, and you need to be able to show them that you not only speak fluent English but you can read and write it as well. Those are the Air Force requirements, I hope this answers your question.


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      Sandra 2 years ago


      I am a permanent resident, but my green card is the temporary one (2 years) after that time I have to ask to remove the conditions on it. Can I join the Air Force with this conditional green card?