I am in a crisis.

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by anonymous_106, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. anonymous_106

    anonymous_106 New Member

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    Hi, this is Kevin here. I've applied to West Point, Annapolis, and USAFA so far, and have been made a tentative candidate for USAFA since August 12th, 2009. Since then, I've received a letter from the academy giving instructions on the CFA, a link to my online file, and the announcement that my online app seemed competitive enough. However, my citizenship is still pending. The thing that frustrates me most is that I am moments away from completing my file; my CFA exam and several other sections are all that remain. I've even finished the interview with my ALO from USAFA, which went great.

    I've posted in the ImmigrationPortal for help on this matter, as I've written here:

    I've discussed this with my family, my sister, and my guidance counselor, and all they keep telling me is that this is really up to my parents, who, with all due respect, really don't seem to be able to care less. Another part about that which really bothers me is that every single person that has helped me on this matter, including the school officials, tell me to continue on with the application and to assume that the naturalization process will take care of itself. Yet, none of them seem to realize that I keep getting e-mails demanding that I fax proof of citizenship (naturalization papers) as soon as possible. I've cleared this up with a few of my ALOs, who've told me that my status is "pending citizenship," which was more or less a relief. I also believe you cannot finish your file without having given proof of citizenship. I'm halfway through this, including a scheduled DoDMERB exam tomorrow, not to mention the fact that my ALO came all the way from Suffolk just to hold the interview, yet from what I know, I cannot finish the application without citizenship.

    As suggested by the aforementioned ImmigrantPortal thread, my solution for now, since I'm under 18 (17 years old), is to have my parents gain their own citizenship, which will automatically grant me one too.

    Of course, naturalization takes anywhere from 6 - 9 months. I guess what I really need to know right now is this: Will I still be eligible for admission when my parents are naturalized sometime next year in, possibly, March? Are there exceptions that I don't know about that the academy can offer? Will my file be terminated after a set date because of no word on the citizenship papers? And does not having a citizenship stop any of my admission files from being evaluated? (Can I submit that online application without naturalization papers? Especially by the January deadline?)

    I'm very sorry for the lengthy post, but I believe those are all the details you need to know about my situation. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
     
  2. jscam87

    jscam87 Member

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    Your post is pretty well written, so don't worry about the length. My first advice is to take a deep breath. Several of the requirements are out of your control (Speed of completion/reply etc) so you can probably save some sleep by not worrying about those parts. To answer what I think is your question, none of the Academies will hold a spot open for you in the hopes that your citizenship paperwork comes through. That being said, some candidates get picked in as late as May so all is not lost. If you step back and realize MOST applicants will not be picked, and about 1/3rd of the appointees have some college or prep school, you will see you have some good company.
    My advice would be to be a good Candidate. Keep your liaison officers informed. Have a plan for attending and have a backup plan (alternate school) that will keep you competitive for the Academies. Your good conduct now is scoring points if you apply again later. You will likely have the same Liaison Officers next year. They will help you. Note to self. Others have had larger hurdles to overcome to get an appointment so don't get frustrated and don't blame anybody, starting with your parents.
    Each Academy probably has a policy about your application being "incomplete" or "pending further paperwork", based on citizenship, and that policy probably has exceptions. A non-answer for your question, but true. Do your best.
    Good Luck!
     
  3. PAParentUSNA

    PAParentUSNA Member

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    Worth a phone call.

    I can speak of a similiar situation with a member of my family who was not born in the United States, but needed to expedite the process for the purpose of a passport to visit a terminally ill relative living abroad. Mind you, this was all done prior to September the 11th, so the process(as with US Passports) may have changed. We too did the internet requests, but finally picked up the phone. We contacted our US Federal Court Building/Administrative dept of US Immigration. We had to show up with all of the required documentation, original birth certificate from country of birth, SSI documentation and a few other documents (to which I do not recall) , and "they" had to take the oath of citizenship at the Federal building before a magistrate, denounce all others, etc. IMPORTANT, my family member was brought here at the age of six, attended highschool and college and was living in the United States for 22 years, working and filing IRS income taxes for years. they just needed the Naturalization document to get a US Passport. Once again, this was all prior to 9/11 and I know the rules have changed. Sparing the diatribe, I would pick up the phone and place a call. Tell them you situation. Depending on your age and how long you have been here in the States, you may or may not need your parents(not sure for you are under 18) and may already be a citizen. Once again, my family members situation was slightly different, but I would recommend you call and be persistent. Government agencies are always swamped with many trying to get the same results, but persistence pays off.
     
  4. PAParentUSNA

    PAParentUSNA Member

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    forgot to mention.

    Kevin, forgot to mention, we also had to pay a expedite fee. I know at the time in was a couple hundred dollars, so be prepared if this is still possible to get sticker shock.
    Hope all works out for you, but honestly, pick up the phone.
     
  5. PAParentUSNA

    PAParentUSNA Member

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    opps #2

    [" Depending on your age and how long you have been here in the States, you may or may not need your parents(not sure for you are under 18) and may already be a citizen." ]

    Kevin, what I meant to say was that you may have already "fullfilled" the criteria to be naturalized/citizenship , but just need sworn in and acquire the documentation as it was in our case. I incorrectly stated this thought. Excuse the runon sentence.
     
  6. PAParentUSNA

    PAParentUSNA Member

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    question

    Tpg,
    I took interest in Kevins question because next year I will have a niece pretty much in the same predicament as he.
    Last night I went onto the Naval Academy website, went into the admissions tab, and accessed the requirements for applying.
    It said you must be a citizen before applying.
    I know others that applied to Army ROTC and AF ROTC programs and were as you described. They were in the process and were permitted.
    My question, Is the Naval Academy more stingent then the ROTC programs in regards to citizen ships? I know they allow 60 foreign students as an exchange program and they are appointed through the embassy. I know Kevin mentioned that. I looked at my sons application from a few years ago, and it said citizen only. Am I missing something or misinterpreting? Please advise.
     
  7. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Here's my understanding - You MUST be a US Citizen before you can be enrolled in a Service Academy, receive any ROTC scholarship or contract into ROTC.
    Many MOC's have US Citzenship as a requirement to either apply for or receive a nomination. In order to receive an Sec nomination as prior enlisted you must be a US Citizen.
    You may certainly apply if your US Citzenship is pending. I would contact the Admissions Department at the Academy(s) to which you are applying and explain your situation. They will probably want to know if Citizenship is likely in the near future.
    The reason for this is Commissioned Officers must be US Citizens - not so with the enlisted ranks.

    Kevin - as to your situation, I don't know how to help you. There seems to be pieces of the puzzle missing. Have you spoken to your parents about this? You seem to be blaming them for not becoming Citizens but it isn't always that easy.
    You must have Permanent Resident status for a number of years (normally 5 years) before you can apply and there are many different situations.
    You can't apply for citizenship on your own until you are 18 years old. If you are under 18 when they take their Oath then you will be naturalized as well.
    From your post, it's impossible to tell where you stand in all of that.

    A better route for you may be to consult with an Immigration Attorney. If you are 18 this attorney can guide you through the steps toward your own Citizenship.
    If you do not acheive Citizenship this year, you still have several more years to apply - you can go to college and apply when your Citizenship is finalized. I know this isn't what you want right now but about 30% of each class arrives with at least one year of college.
     
  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    To be eligible to enter the Academy you must be:

    • A citizen of the United States. Your citizenship must be finalized prior to entering the Academy. You must submit proof of citizenship if you were foreign born or naturalized. Authorized international students are exempt from this requirement.

    https://admissions.usafa.edu/secure/Online/Eligibility.htm

    (This is not only a requirement for USAFA, but all of the SA's.)
     
  9. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    US Naval Academy Admissions - Eligibility Requirements

    Basic Requirements for Eligibility:

    • United States citizen:

    • Good moral character;

    • At least 17 and not past their 23rd birthday on 1 July of the year they would enter the academy;

    • Unmarried;

    • Not pregnant; and

    • No dependents.

    If you meet all of the above requirements, please continue to Step 3: Preliminary Application.

    http://www.usna.edu/Admissions/steps2.htm
     
  10. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    USNA FAQs

    I am not a U.S. citizen and am interested in applying to the Naval Academy. What do I do?

    If you are not an American citizen, completion of the Preliminary Application is not necessary. Information concerning application procedures for foreign nationals may be requested from the Naval Attache at the U.S. Embassy. If you are in the process of applying for citizenship, you can apply for admission but you must be a U.S. citizen by Induction Day.

    http://www.usna.edu/admissions/faq.htm#eligible
     
  11. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I don't think it has anything to do with a security clearance. West Point doesn't do their security clearances until plebe year - about half way through.

    The Academies and ROTC are Commissioned Officer training programs. You can't be an Commissioned Officer unless you are a US Citizen. Hence, you should not be admitted unless you are a US Citizen.
    This does not necessarily preclude one from applying in anticipation of Citizenship.
     
  12. 2011's Mom

    2011's Mom Parent

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    I suggest that you contact your Congressman. All Congressmen have a staffer responsible for Constituent related issues such as this. On their web page you should find information about how to go about getting their help for immigration related issues. Immigration is a big issue and there is likely to be a designated staff member responsible for assisting Constituents with the process. They may be able to give you some insight into time frames. They typically intercede by calling on your behalf to get a status and if there is an undue holdup, put pressure on the federal agency responsible for the delay.

    You state that your parents are somewhat to blame - have they actually applied for citizenship yet? It can take an extremely long time to get through the system and actually gain citizenship.

    Citizenship is required to attend a SA, as is a nomination. The MOC will likely not grant you a nom without citizenship.
     
  13. chuck11

    chuck11 New Member

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    It took about 2 years to finish the whole citizenship process for our friend few years ago.
    I am not sure how long it will take these days. Hopefully not that long.
    Better check with a immigration lawyer in your district.
     
  14. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    tpg - nothing in your post #17 will help this candidate. That only applies to "reserve" officers - just because they can doesn't mean they will accept a non-US Citizen.

    When the USAFA has over 10,000 US Citizen applicants from which to choose, I am not sure if it makes sense to even think about a waiver. I would think that would have to be a very special circumstance. This young man is a senior in high school, he has time to become a citizen before he enrolls. If a non US Citizen is receiving an Academy education or ROTC scholarship dollars that would be interesting to know.

    Go to this website:
    http://www.goarmy.com/careers/becoming_an_officer.jsp
    click on the 4 ways to become a US Army Officer and each one requires US Citizenship.

    Kevin, IMO you need to figure out a path to US Citizenship. You need to contact academy admissions and explain your situation, consult your Congressman or Senator and/or consult with an Immigration Attorney.
     
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I guess you got me on a technicality. While the DOD may allow it under certain circumstances this doesn't mean it's allowed by the services currently.
    The Army's four commissioning sources also apply to the Army Reserve and Army National Guard - if you aren't a US Citizen you aren't eligible.
    The AF National Guard website also indicates that officers need to be a citizen to enter into the program.
    I guess there is a contradiction there.

    BTW - enlisting in the military is one of the quickest and easiest paths to citizenship
    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/theorderlyroom/a/citizenship.htm

    Kevin may want to consider this - he could enlist, apply for citizenship and if granted apply to the Academy for the following year.
     
  16. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    To add to the "confusion'
    http://afreserve.com/showfaqs.php?answer=46

     
  17. anonymous_106

    anonymous_106 New Member

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    I'm sorry, I should clarify on my situation a little further. I am 17 years old, and my next birthday will be March 15, 2010, the earliest I can apply for citizenship. As you can tell, this is far too late for any of the Service Academies or ROTC, and therefore my only route is being naturalized through my parents. My parents are aware of this, and so my father has already gone to the USCIS website and initiated the N-400 file (several days ago, in fact). My parents have been in the United States for well over 20 years; it's only unfortunate timing and bad luck that they have to apply for citizenship right now. My current status as a candidate is listed as "pending citizenship," as confirmed by an e-mail sent to me by my liaison at West Point, Cathy. In all 3 of my applications (USAFA, USMA, Annapolis), I still have to post my naturalization papers, except for USMA where I was told to fax the papers (actually, this constitutes one more question: for these online applications, which I'm still completing, wouldn't I only be able to submit them fully after I've obtained naturalization papers and faxed them to the admissions office? Assuming that my parents and I will be naturalized, say... In March or April? I mean, the due date for USAFA's is in January 2010.)

    I will contact my congresswoman, senators, immigration attorney, and the respective academies for some insight.

    To tpg:
    Thank you for the advice. I think the only way to clear up the situation regarding whether or not my immigrant alien status would bar me from admission is to contact the academy. I will keep this thread updated tomorrow after I've given everyone a call.

    To PAParentUSNA:
    Thank you for mentioning the expedite fee. I will look into this as a possibility.

    To Just_A_Mom:
    You're probably right. Most likely, I will not gain admission if my citizenship does not process in time, but in case there is a different outcome once I contact my congresswoman, I will keep you updated. Quite frankly, even if all goes well with this one requirement, I just received my official transcript today and the turnout does not look favorable for me: a 3.2899 unweighted GPA among other areas lacking. I think at this point I will just finish whatever portions of the application are left and submit them in a timely fashion. I had a hierarchy of priorities for post-high school options, and it was the Service Academies as first, ROTC as second, and regular enlistment as a third. If USAFA, USMA, USNA, and ROTC are eliminated, then I will just choose between a first year of college or regular enlistment, and then consider applying again after those.

    I will update after I contact the academies. Thank you all for the assistance.
     
  18. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Ask admissions but I *think* you can go ahead with the process.

    Q. Do your parents have Permanent Resident status? If so, for how long?

    Options: Even if you can't win a ROTC scholarship, you can still take ROTC. After you get Citizenship you can compete for a 2 or 3 year scholarship.

    If your parents are not citizens by your birthday, I *think* you will have to apply on your own. IMO, you need to talk to an Immigration Attorney who can help you navagate USCIS.

    Finally, understand that if you are not successful this year to an Academy, you may certainly try again. Go to college, take ROTC and apply when you have citizenship.
    Enlisting is also an option - there are special programs that expedite citizenship to Non-Citizen soldiers.
     
  19. anonymous_106

    anonymous_106 New Member

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    Hi, this is just an update with a few more questions.

    It looks like the process is well on its way, as USCIS has sent my parents their notification of cashing the fee (around $517 for both my parents). I think the next step is the interview and the test, and after that, the oath/swearing in.

    Just_A_Mom, can you tell me a few details about enlisting? For how long would I remain active duty through enlistment before deciding to re-apply to the academies, or rather, how long should I remain in the reserves (or full-time)? Would you happen to know how competitive it is? I did some research and found that there are approximately 200 enlisted citizens that gain admission into West Point every year, and are automatically considered for the prep school if they are not admitted then. I am assuming this would also indicate that it is a competition within itself among those enlisted too, then, to try and gain admission. I've been thinking a lot about it lately and I feel that I definitely would like to serve overseas and be deployed for OEF and the Global War on Terrorism, although I'm a little torn because of my parents' insistence on just attending a regular college first. By what merit do they base their decision on accepting enlisted individuals? Performance while on active duty, still high school record, or testing done while on duty, etc?

    Is the US Marine Corps also a pipeline into the academies as well?

    And lastly, how long after participating in ROTC would one seek a ROTC nomination to transfer into the academies?

    Thank you all for the help. Things aren't looking too bad with my status right now.
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would suggest that you either PM JAM or post over on USMA. JAM is a USMA Mom, not an AFA mom, so your post could be lost in the mix.

    As far as AFROTC, you can apply your freshman yr. The thing to be aware of is there are candidates that took ROTC as plan B, and the det commanders know that, thus, you may find competition for the ROTC nom. DS selected ROTC over AFA, the det commander promised Bullet, myself and him that if in the fall he regretted his decision he would support him for an ROTC nom. He didn't, but at least it was good to know the support was there. The point is talk to the det commander when you visit.
     

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