Military Immigration Issues

Nationwide Immigration Help For Military Members And Their Families

Throughout history, the U.S. military has welcomed immigrants who are willing to serve, and immigrants who are married to military members. At Cascadia Cross Border Law Group LLC, we help military members and their families navigate the complex immigration laws that affect them.

Our clients include members of the military, as well as professionals with language, medical and other skills critical to military readiness and national security. Many of our clients have worked with the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Others are interested in pursuing military opportunities that may affect their immigration statuses.

Our firm’s principal attorney, Margaret D. Stock, is highly regarded and widely recognized for her leadership in military and immigration issues. Ms. Stock received one of the MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious “genius” grants for her work with the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program, which provides immigration benefits to certain noncitizens who enlist in the military.

An Experienced Lawyer Who Spearheaded Three Groundbreaking Programs

Stock’s experiences serving as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and teaching at West Point shaped her interest in the relationship between immigration law and the military, leading her to spearhead three groundbreaking programs that better the lives of immigrants and U.S.-born military personnel.

  • MAVNI: The Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program helps the U.S. armed forces attract foreign nationals with special skills useful to our national interest by offering those individuals an expedited path to citizenship.
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) MAP program: Ms. Stock was instrumental in the formation of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Military Assistance Program, which pairs pro bono (free) lawyers with members of the military in need of legal services.
  • Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative: Ms. Stock prompted the creation of this intergovernmental initiative, which is designed to expedite the naturalization of military personnel by offering naturalization ceremonies at basic training locations.

Utilizing Ms. Stock‘s in-depth knowledge of military issues and immigration law, our firm represents many members of the military and military veterans in immigration matters, including helping Iraqi and Afghan allies obtain special immigrant visas from the U.S. government.

MAVNI: A Defense Department Naturalization Program

National security isn’t just about keeping people out of the United States. It is also about letting the right people in. National security doesn’t just mean our physical security. It means our economic security, civil liberties and freedom.

The Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program — or MAVNI — grew out of a briefing that attorney Margaret Stock gave to the Secretary of the Army at a military conference in the fall of 2007, where she proposed this program. At the time, the military was facing a recruiting crisis. Although there were thousands of professionals in the United States who were well-qualified to serve in the military, many were not eligible for recruitment. These same professionals faced problems with our immigration system, often waiting decades for green cards or being told that they must leave the United States to apply for citizenship.

MAVNI was created to allow certain legal immigrants already in the United States to join the military. Because of this successful program, many professionals — including doctors — have served the military and gone on to become citizens of our country much more quickly than they otherwise would have.

Stock was recognized as a 2013 MacArthur Foundation Fellow (an honor commonly referred to as the MacArthur genius grant) for her work on the connection between immigration and national security, as well as three important programs, including MAVNI.

Iraq/Afghanistan Special Immigrant Visas (SIV)

For the United States, some of the most dedicated work in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has come from individuals who were not U.S. citizens. These individuals faced and continue to face very real risks to their health, safety and lives for their service to our country. The U.S. owes them a debt of gratitude.

Iraqi or Afghan individuals who assisted the U.S. military as interpreters or translators or in other capacities may be eligible for certain special immigrant visas (SIV) under the Afghan SIV program or the Iraqi SIV program. These visas allow them to live legally in the United States and to build lives here.

At Cascadia Cross Border Law Group LLC, we work with individuals to help them obtain these visas. Attorney Margaret Stock has built a reputation as a leader in matters of military immigration and national security. Stock is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Military Police, U.S. Army Reserve, and a former professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She uses extensive, in-depth knowledge of immigration law and the U.S. military to achieve the best possible results for our clients.

Contact Us

Contact Cascadia Cross Border Law Group LLC at 888-494-1486 or online to learn what we charge for an initial consultation with an immigration attorney knowledgeable about the special needs of the military. We have the capacity to meet with you in Anchorage, or we can work with you over the phone and via Skype or email, as needed.