Last week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in partnership with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, introduced two new online resources to support noncitizens who have served in the U.S. military and their families. The resources are part of the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative (IMMVI), which creates a one-stop resources page, as well as a new online portal for veterans who need help accessing Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, or applying to return to the United States.
The one-stop resource center, called ImmVets, gathers together federal resources and forms on various topics such as U.S. citizenship, humanitarian parole, VA benefits, document and translation services, and finding legal assistance. It also has a portal for current and former U.S. military members to request information and assistance returning to the U.S.
“Veterans qualify for VA benefits based on their service to our country and never on their immigration status,” said Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough in a DHS press release. “We are proud to work with our partners at DHS and DoD to honor the service of immigrant and noncitizen Veterans by ensuring that they have access to information about the care and services available to them.”
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says ImmVets Resources is the first step in the Department’s plans to help support noncitizen service members and their families. According to DHS, the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative has already “helped dozens of veterans access the U.S. immigration system and their VA benefits,” as well as facilitating the return of several individuals who had been removed from the country. DHS says it continues to “actively review policies” that relate to noncitizen service members and their families to determine how best to support people who have sacrificed for and served the United States.
If you are a U.S. citizen or green card holder (Lawful Permanent Resident, or LPR) who married a noncitizen while deployed or stationed overseas, or you are married to a U.S. citizen or LPR active duty service member, check out this Boundless guide to applying for a green card as the spouse of a military service member! You can also get more information on U.S. citizenship for service members and immigration options for family members at the DHS ImmVets Resources page or the USCIS Citizenship for Military Family Members page.