U.S. citizenship


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
I was wondering if anybody has any real insight as to what the guidelines are regarding a U.S. citizenship to be admitted into a service academy. My parents applied for a U.S. citizenship in May but I believe it could take anywhere from 3 to 10 months or even more to receive it. But, despite that I’ve heard varying things. I have heard as long as I have it before the first day, I’m fine. There was the “If I don’t have it by December, West Point won't offer me an appointment” all the way to it can be waved off if need be.
I'm sorry I can't answer your question. If you don't get an answer from someone else you should contact USMA admissions. The email address is: admissions@usma.edu.

Let us know what you find out.
It is my understanding that you must be a US Citizen to be granted an appointment to a SA. Because to get an appointment you must have a nomination, MOC's will expect you to be a US Citizen by the time they nominate you. Since the MOC must submit the nomination by the end of January, it would seem reasonable that they would not nominate a non-US citizen. Many MOC web pages specify exactly what the requirements are. I notice that some MOC web pages specifically state that to get a nomination the applicant must be a US Citizen by the time of the MOC application deadline (typically October of Sr. year). Remember, a MOC nominates his/her constituents (the can only nominate from within their own congressional distrcit). By definition, constituents are US citizens (Webster: Constituent - a person who authorizes another to act in his or her behalf, as a voter in a district represented by an elected official). A non-citizen is not a constituent. Even if the application for citizenship is complete - the MOC cannot make a citizenship determination nor can they readily speed up the citizenship process. They are thus disinclined to nominate an individual who is not a US Citizen.

To see more about citizenship you can check this page out: www.uscis.gov There are several steps to the process and many of them are not in the control of the applicant. I am not trying to be a nay sayer - I just think that well informed is important in this SA process!

And, I think a call to admissions, as WAMom68 suggested, is a good idea. I am a strong proponent of candidates keeping their file very current and contacing the admissions office regularly. If you make that call I would be very interested in their reply.

Good Luck!!
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My son's friend is from one of the Stans. His family has lived in the US for 10 plus years. Just after 9/11 they applied for citizenship (they did not think it would matter before that) they are still waiting. The US government is nothing but slow and even slower now. Mo had wanted to go to USAFA. The school's ROTC would nominate him if he got it.

He is now a US citizen, because he enlisted in the Army through their ROTC. It took 2 years even with the Army's help. But he speaks Farsi and Arabic, a hot item to have.
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Federal law requires one to be a US citizen to recieve an appointment. There is no waiver for this. The USNA catalog requires one to be a US citizen to submit an application. I think USMA is similiar. With that said, USNA, in their on-line application allows a category for resident aliens. As 2011'smom pointed out, MOCs have their own requirements.

Since federal law does not require citizenship until the appointment is made, the SAs and the MOCs are probably being more stringent in order not to waste time on candidates, who, through no fault of their own, who are caught up in the system, fail to receive a timely citizenship.

As advised above, call or email the admissions offices of the SAs in which you are interested and also contact all appropriate MOCs and get their latest instructions.
I think Justawife has an excellent point here -

I am pretty sure you MUST be a US Citizen to be a Commissioned officer but you may enlist without Citizenship.

You best bet may be to enlist - you MAY get your citizenship earlier and it IS a viable path to an academy appointment - USMA really values prior enlisted.

I gather once your parents are granted citizenship then you become a citizen - what happens if they don't get citizenship until you are 18 years old? Must you apply on your own?
If you go the route of enlisting - definitely have a conversation with your Regional Admissions Officer - they are really awesome in helping in cases like these.