Some who have come to the United States legally from other countries wish to express their appreciation and pride in their decision to live here by serving in the military.
While it is possible to serve, it is not without limitations and standards that do not apply to United States citizens.
Everyone who joins the Army must either be a United States citizen or must be a legal immigrant. Legal immigrants must possess a green card and have entered the country legally in an attempt to become a legal immigrant of the United States.
Legal immigrants who have been residents of countries that are considered to be hostile towards the United States will require a waiver in order to be able to join.
If this is your situation, speak to your recruiter about beginning the waiver process. The list of hostile countries changes quite often as situations around the world evolve. However, the recruiting station should have an updated list.
Legal immigrants should be aware that their job opportunities within the military will be limited.
The Department of Defense does not allow legal immigrants to possess a security clearance within the military. Because many military jobs require at least a secret security clearance, legal immigrants will only have a small list of available occupational specialties regardless of their ASVAB score.
There are jobs available in the military that do not require a security clearance though so it is possible to still serve.
When speaking to the recruiter, take all documentation with you. This will speed up the enlistment process and provide necessary documents if a waiver becomes necessary for enlistment.
Keep in mind that the recruiter cannot approve a waiver. Waivers are granted by those in his chain of command or at recruiting command.