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How your selective service registration can affect naturalization

J. Molina Law Firm PLLC > Post English  > How your selective service registration can affect naturalization

How your selective service registration can affect naturalization

How your selective service registration can affect naturalization

When planning to apply for citizenship through Form N-400, requirements such as your continuous residence and time as a permanent resident are often mentioned. Nonetheless, one of the most important requisites for males is the registration in the Selective Service.

The Selective Service System is an Independent agency of the United States government that stores information of male citizens and immigrants between the age of 18 and 25. All male American citizens must complete their registration on the first 30 days after their 18th birthday.

In the case of male immigrants, they must register on the first 30 days after entering the country, even if they are undocumented.

What does the Selective Service registration mean?

The Selective Service stores this data so they can call all eligible males in the country in the case that conscription becomes necessary. However, this doesn’t mean you’re already enlisting in the military or you’ll have to pay military service. It is just a contingency mechanism.

Since this is something that a lot of people ignore, it is not uncommon to find out about it until you are thinking of starting your naturalization process or filling form N-400 (It is indicated in question 44 of section 12).

Not registering in the Selective Service can deprive you of many federal benefits and, in the case of your application for naturalization, it prevents you from proving you support the principles of the United States Constitution.

What happens if you didn’t complete your selective service registration and want to file Form N-400?

Fortunately, there are alternatives to follow if you did not register in the Selective Service System and want to become a US citizen. Depending on your age, the options you may choose are:

If you’re under 26

The legislation indicates that all males must register on the Selective Service System on the first 30 days after their 18th birthday. The Selective Service System can accept late registrations, as long as the man isn’t older than 26.

Thus, if you haven’t turned 26 yet, you’re can still register on the Selective Service System on www.sss.gov and then follow your naturalization process calmly.

If you’re between 26 and 31

Applicants between the ages of 26 and 31 that did not register in the Selective Service System may not be eligible for U.S. citizenship if they knowingly and willfully chose not to register.

On the other hand, if the applicant can prove that he didn’t know about this requirement and his flaw wasn’t intentional. USCIS can give him another chance to file his request.

In order to do this, he must provide enough evidence to prove that not registering in the Selective Service System was an innocent mistake, among the documents one must request for this are:

Status information letter from the Selective Service System

This is a letter issued by the Selective Service that states that you are over the age of the required Selective Service registration and it is no longer necessary for you to sign up.

Sworn declaration from the applicant

In this letter, you must explain why you did not register in the Selective Service System at the right moment and why it was an innocent mistake.

Sworn declaration from a supporter

This letter must specify the reasons why you did not register in the Selective Service System and should preferably be provided by someone of authority in your community as a teacher or a pastor.

In most cases for men in this age range, it is recommended to wait until you are 31 years of age and apply for citizenship based on your last 5 years as a permanent resident.

If you are over 31 years old

Once you are over 31, your registration in the Selective Service System is no longer a problem since you have overcome the period in which it is mandatory and can prove your good moral character based on your previous 5 years as a permanent resident.

Why you should consider getting support from an immigration lawyer

Applying for naturalization in the U.S has become increasingly difficult, and there are many things you might find confusing. In this case, being able to prove you have good moral character becomes extremely important to get a positive result.

Partnering with an immigration lawyer is very useful, that way you can get an expert to look at your case in detail and advice you on how to increase your chances of having your naturalization petition approved.

However, we know that not everyone can afford to pay the fees of an immigration attorney, or necessarily needs this alternative. There are some online services that can help you complete and file your N-400 form through an easy and automated process.