June, 15

Can International Students Apply for US Army? Exploring Eligibility Requirements

Featured in:

Can international students apply for the US Army? This is a question that has been going around for quite some time now. While it may seem like a straightforward inquiry, there are several factors to consider before coming up with an answer. The United States Army prides itself on being an all-inclusive organization that welcomes people from diverse backgrounds, but does this extend to non-citizens as well?

The process of joining the US Army involves several requirements and qualifications that applicants must meet. Citizenship is undoubtedly one of them, but what about foreign nationals studying in the USA? Can they get into military service while still holding foreign citizenship? In this article, we delve deeper into answering this question and explore what options are available for international students interested in joining the US Military.

If you're an international student aspiring to join one of America's prestigious military organizations or simply curious about how inclusive the army is when it comes to non-citizenship applications, then keep reading. We've got all your queries covered!

Can International Students Apply for US Army?

As an international student, one may wonder if it is possible to apply for the United States Army. The answer is yes, but with certain conditions that must be met. In this article, we will explore the requirements and benefits of applying for the US Army as an international student.

Who can apply?

International students who are legally present in the United States under F-1 or M-1 visa status may be eligible to join the military. However, there are some restrictions regarding citizenship and residency that must be met. To become a member of any branch of the US military including Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force; only legal permanent residents; active duty/reserve members; refugees/asylees or those who have DACA status are eligible.

What are the requirements?

To qualify as an applicant for joining any branch of U.S armed forces specifically army through MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to National Interest) program you should meet below basic eligibility criteria;

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Attend school in America or hold a high school diploma from here
  • Achieved minimum scores on standardized tests like ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery)
  • Proof your proficiency level on English language skills
  • Pass physical fitness test designed by each service


  • Foreign nationals seeking enlistment into MAVNI programe should possess specific language and medical skills.
  • Applicants must undergo background check before being added onto DEP( Delayed Entry Program).


Joining US army offers many benefits such as free education up to degree level through GI Bill educational entitlements which includes tuition fee reduction/exemption grants/scholarships etc., health care facilities not only during term of duty but also after retirement via TRICARE insurance plan which covers them alongside their families too! Also there’s availability due process protection under Uniform Code Military Justice (UCMJ), Military legal assistance for military personnel and dependents at no cost.


If you are an international student interested in joining the US Army, it is important to understand that the process can take some time. It is recommended to begin preparing early and researching all available options. Contacting a recruiter from your area or visiting any recruitment office nearby may help you get started with your application processing.

In conclusion, International students who meet all of the requirements have a chance to serve their country through joining U.S armed forces. The army offers many benefits such as education opportunities and healthcare facilities along with due process protection and legal assistance even after retirement. However they should be aware of restrictions imposed on citizenship; residency status while ensuring qualifying criteria like age-enrollment ratio; required test scores etc., are met before beginning enlistment process so that there will be no complications later on!


Can international students apply for the US Army?

Yes, international students can apply for the US Army provided they meet certain requirements. The US military has a long-standing tradition of welcoming individuals from different backgrounds and nationalities to serve in its ranks. However, joining the army as an international student requires meeting specific criteria laid out by the government.

Firstly, applicants must be legal permanent residents or have valid visas that allow them to live and work in the United States. Secondarily, they must also be able to pass a background check as well as meet all other enlistment criteria such as age requirements and physical fitness standards.

It’s worth noting that while not all jobs within the army are open to non-citizens, there are many roles that do accept applications from foreign nationals including linguists and medical professionals. Additionally, some branches like Navy may require citizenship before accepting an applicant into their programs.

Overall if you’re interested in joining the U.S Army forces it's important to speak with a recruiter who will guide you through eligibility requirements based on your individual circumstances.

What is MAVNI program?

MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital National Interest) program was created by President Bush after 9/11 when he authorized expedited naturalization process for immigrants who join U.S military forces during wartime or emergency periods which usually includes people with special language abilities like Arabic etc.. This program was designed mainly because of shortage of translators since it takes years sometimes even decades until someone gains clearance due language barriers.

The MAVNI Program had been suspended since 2016 but after much delay was reactivated under certain conditions on July 2021: Applicants need stable immigration status; Have lived continuously in USA at least two years; Graduated high school or equivalent education; Score minimum32 on ASVAB test – Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery-, Pass Military Entrance Processing Command security screening inclusive FBI check & Drug tests

Do I need to have a Green Card or citizenship to join the US Army?

You do not necessarily need to have U.S. citizenship, but you do require a Green Card or any other types of visas that allow legal permanent residency in the United States. Some programs and roles may require citizenship but that depends on branch policies.

The process for becoming a non-citizen member of the US military is generally similar as it is for citizens, including taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, passing medical assessments, and completing basic training before being assigned to various roles depending on skills and qualifications.

Can international students apply for US army ROTC scholarships?

ROTC scholarships are available only to U.S citizens or those who hold permanent resident status.Kindly note availability may vary depending on program type – e.g Army ROTC has its specific eligibility criteria. If you’re interested in an ROTC scholarship as an international student it's best practice enquire with recruiters about what options exist within your academic institution.

International students can still participate in some aspects of Army ROTC like leadership labs and physical fitness training while pursuing their degree which can help them stand out when applying later.

Will joining the army improve my chances of getting a green card / visa?

Joining military doesn’t guarantee obtaining permanent residency/ green card immediately but it provides members with access certain immigration benefits under certain conditions like deployment abroad which helps expedite naturalization processes & bypasses waiting periods otherwise required by law such us:

  • Faster processing: Service members serving during designated times are given priority over regular applicants making application process faster.
  • Military parades are one way soldiers who aren't American citizens could receive citizenship since they take place outside U.S territory.

Additionally MAVNI program mentioned previously was designed mostly due these reasons whereby immigrants could be offered fast track way into becoming citizen where they would otherwise waited years if not decades until eligibility requirements were met.


Joining the US Army as an international student is possible, but applicants must meet specific criteria. Non-citizens can apply to join as long as they have legal permanent residency or visas that allow them to live and work in the country.They also need to pass a background check among other enrolment criteria.

The MAVNI program offers immigrants with special skills like language capabilities expedited paths for naturalization process if they serve during designated times however there are limitations on eligibility.

Although joining doesn't guarantee obtaining permanent residency/ green card immediately , service members serving during designated times gain priority making processing faster than normal.Military parades outside U.S territory may also enable some soldiers who aren’t American citizens receive citizenship without going through waiting periods required by law. It's best practice seeking advice from recruiters about what options exist within your unique circumstances.

Latest articles

Related articles

AR 15 Buffer Springs: Uncovering the Best Options for...

Welcome to this article about the Best AR 15 Buffer Spring. If you are a gun enthusiast,...

Wooden Stock AR-15: The Classic Look for Your Modern...

Wooden stock AR 15. These four words might not mean much to the uninitiated, but for anyone...

US Marine Corps Shirts: Show Your Support with the...

US Marine Corps shirts are a popular item among military enthusiasts and civilians alike. These shirts are...

US Army MSV: The Ultimate Military Support Vehicle

The US Army MSV - a term that might sound unfamiliar to many people outside the military...

AR-15 Detent Spring: A Guide to Installation and Functionality

If you're a seasoned AR-15 owner, you're no stranger to the importance of every component in this...

US Air Force: Aim High and Soar Above the...

US Air Force Aim High. These four words hold a significant meaning for both the men and...