If you are 31 now, obtain a status letter from the selective service. If under 31, still need that letter, but NY District is pretty strict on this requirement so you may want to speak to an attorney.
Irene Vaisman, Esq. 11 Broadway, Suite 615 New York, NY 10004 (646) 253-0516 This is not legal advice and a client attorney relationship is not created. For a free consultation call (646) 253-0516.
Provide an honest explanation. You are not the first and not the last person who was unaware of the Selective Service requirement. However, you should *strongly* consider hiring an immigration lawyer to assist you with the process. If you are denied or, worst case scenario, ordered removed from the United States, it may be too late for a lawyer to help you ... even if you wanted to do so. Get a lawyer involved now. Take the bull by the horns. Take control of your immigration process from the outset.
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You do need a written explanation.
The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.
A statement could be helpful, but since you probably attended high school in the U.S., simply not aware of the selective service requirement may not be very convincing. Remember even if it is too late to register due to age, you could still be naturalized through the demonstrated willingness to defend the United States. I agree with my colleagues that this could be a ground for denial so be careful.
Oliver Huiyue Qiu, Esq.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1271, Union, NJ 07083
Office Visit: 5 Penn Plaza, 23rd FL, Manhattan, between 33rd St and 8th Ave (By Appointment)
(646) 820-7658 Oliver Huiyue Qiu is a co-chairman of American Immigration Lawyer Association's New York City chapter Federal Practice Committee. This response should not be deemed as the creation of attorney/client relationship. Legal advice should be sought with a competent immigration attorney.