8 CFR 204.9 - Special immigrant status for certain aliens who have served honorably (or are enlisted to serve) in the Armed Forces of the United States for at least 12 years.
(a) Petition for Armed Forces special immigrant. An alien may not be classified as an Armed Forces special immigrant unless the alien is the beneficiary of an approved petition to classify such an alien as a special immigrant under section 101(a)(27)(K) of the Act. The petition must be filed on Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow or Special Immigrant.
(1) Who may file. An alien Armed Forces enlistee or veteran may file the petition for Armed Forces special immigrant status in his or her own behalf. The person filing the petition is not required to be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.
(b) Eligibility. An alien is eligible for classification as a special immigrant under section 101(a)(27)(K) of the Act if:
(1) The alien has served honorably on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States after October 15, 1978;
(2) The alien's original lawful enlistment was outside the United States (under a treaty or agreement in effect October 1, 1991) for a period or periods aggregating -
(i) Twelve years, and who, if separated from such service, was never separated except under honorable conditions; or
(ii) Six years, in the case of an immigrant who is on active duty at the time of seeking special immigrant status under this rule and who has reenlisted to incur a total active duty service obligation of at least 12 years;
(3) The alien is a national of an independent state which maintains a treaty or agreement allowing nationals of that state to enlist in the United States Armed Forces each year; and
(4) The executive department under which the alien has served or is serving has recommended the granting of special immigrant status to the immigrant.
(c) Derivative beneficiaries. A spouse or child accompanying or following to join a principal immigrant who has requested benefits under this section may be accorded the same special immigrant classification as the principal alien. This may occur whether or not the spouse or child is named in the petition and without the approval of a separate petition, but only if the executive department under which the immigrant serves or served recommends the granting of special immigrant status to the principal immigrant.
(1) The relationship of spouse and child as defined in section 101(b)(1) of the Act must have existed at the time the principal alien's special immigrant application under section 101(a)(27)(K) of the Act was approved. The spouse or child of an immigrant classified as a section 103(a)(27)(K) special immigrant is entitled to a derivative status corresponding to the classification and priority date of the beneficiary of the petition.
(2) When a spouse or child of an alien granted special immigrant status under section 101(a)(27)(K) of the Act is in the United States but was not included in the principal alien's application, the spouse or child shall file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, in accordance with the instructions on the form, regardless of the status of that spouse or child in the United States. The application must be supported by evidence that the principal alien has been granted special immigrant status under section 101(a)(27)(K) of the Act.
(3) Revocation of derivative status. The termination of special immigrant status for a person who was the principal applicant shall result in termination of the special immigrant status of a spouse or child whose status was based on the special immigrant application of the principal.
(d) Documents which must be submitted in support of the petition.
(1) A petition to classify an immigrant as a special immigrant under section 101(a)(27)(K) of the Act must be accompanied by the following:
(i) Certified proof of reenlistment (after 6 years of active duty service), or certification of past active duty status of 12 years, issued by the authorizing official of the executive department in which the applicant serves or has served, which certifies that the applicant has the required honorable active duty service and commitment. The authorizing official need not be at a level above the “local command”. The certification must be submitted with Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant; and
(ii) Birth certificate of the applicant establishing that the applicant is a national of an independent state which maintains a treaty or agreement allowing nationals of that state to enlist in the United States Armed Forces each year.
(3) Submission of an original Form DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty; Form G-325b, Biographic Information; and Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service, is not required for approval of a petition for special immigrant status.
(e) Decision. The petitioner will be notified of the director's decision and, if the petition is denied, of the reasons for the denial. If the petition is denied, the petitioner will also be notified of the petitioner's right to appeal the decision to the Associate Commissioner for Examinations in accordance with 8 CFR part 103.
(f) Revocation under section 205 of the Act. An alien who has been granted special immigrant classification under section 101(a)(27)(K) of the Act must meet the qualifications set forth in the Act at the time he or she is admitted to the United States for lawful permanent residence. If an Armed Forces special immigrant ceases to be a qualified enlistee by failing to complete the required active duty service obligation for reasons other than an honorable discharge prior to entering the United States with an immigrant visa or approval of an application for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, the petition designating his or her classification as a special immigrant is revoked automatically under the general provisions of section 205 of the Act. The Service shall obtain a current Form DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, from the appropriate executive department for verification of the alien's failure to maintain eligibility for the classification under section 101(a)(27)(K) of the Act.