Free webinar to cover World War I naturalization records

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will present a free webinar on World War I Soldier Naturalizations on Thursday, February 22, at 1 p.m.

During World War I, nearly one-fifth of the American armed forces were foreign-born. To encourage immigrant enlistments and to naturalize servicemen before they shipped out, Congress passed laws to expedite military naturalizations. These naturalization laws exempted soldiers from having five years of U.S. residency, filing a declaration (or “first papers”), speaking English, and taking history and civics exams. Soldiers could go to any court in the nation to naturalize and, under the expedited system, could become a citizen in just one day. Eventually, more than 300,000 soldiers and veterans of World War I became U.S. citizens under these laws.

This webinar will provide an overview of the Immigration Service’s soldier naturalization program, review naturalization records created by the program, and explore some of the research challenges the records present.

This webinar will not be recorded.

To attend the webinar, go to: https://www.uscis.gov/HGWebinars and select the webinar for February 22.

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