Join the US Air Force as A Foreigner – How to Get Started For Free

Pursuing a career in the Air Force is admirable and will be incredibly rewarding, but it requires discipline even before you begin training. The Air Force maintains high standards, most of which are things within your control. If you aspire to be an Airman, ensure that you meet requirements now and make choices that will keep you eligible over time.

You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to join the Air Force, but you do have to live here. You cannot join the military from a foreign country – you must become a permanent U.S. resident, AKA a green-card holder. In the past enlisting with a green card has been a fast track to becoming a member of the US air force but now, even without green card you can join the Force and automatically become a US citizen.

Enlisting with a Green Card
A green card by itself does not let you join the U.S. Air Force. You must be living in the U.S., and be able to speak, read and write English fluently. You must also meet the same requirements all Airmen recruits face:

You are at least 17-years-old and no older than 35. That applies to regular Infantry, reserves and the National Guard.
You are in good health.
You have a high school diploma, though a GED may suffice.
You pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test.
If you want to become an officer, you must be a college graduate, though the chances are slim as a foreigner
If you have a disqualifying condition such as health problems or a criminal record, you can ask the Air Force to waive it. There is no guarantee you will get a waiver, but there is no cost for making the request.

Limitations on Non citizens
If you join the U.S. Air Force as a non-citizen, enlisting can speed up your path to full citizenship. If you want to become an American citizen, military service waives some of your requirements: For example, you do not have to be physically in the U.S. if you are stationed overseas. More than 100,000 immigrants have been naturalized through military service since 9/11. As of February 2018, military policy has put brakes on the process with more intensive background checks and slower approval times. New recruits cannot start basic training until after the background check is complete, which can take up to a year or more.