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For US Citizenship Application, do I need to write a statement explaining why I did not register for selective service?

New York, NY |

I entered the US when I was 16 under custody of my parents, turned 18, didn't become a permanent resident till I turned 25. I had never heard of the selective service until filling out N-400. What do I do?

After reviewing the answers of the lawyers, The first step for me in resolving the issue was to visit the, and confirm If I was actually regisitered. Lo and behold I am registered. But this will be useful for anyone else filling it out

Attorney Answers 5

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    The Murray Law Firm
    50 Harrison Street, Suite 310F
    Hoboken, NJ 07030-6151
    T: (201)875-2600
    Facebook: (Follow by clicking the "Like" button")

    IMPORTANT: Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during an attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private attorney-client consultation. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, an attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual. For persons located in New Jersey: To the extent that Mr. Murray's profile can be considered an advertisement in New Jersey, which is denied, be advised that NO ASPECT OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY. Furthermore, the selection methodology for the SuperLawyers' "Rising Stars" awards is set forth at length at this website:

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    Sincerely yours,
    Oliver Huiyue Qiu, Esq.
    Tel: 646-820-7658
    Fax: 646-537-2608
    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.

  5. Need a written explanation

    John Lassen 1-877-252-4630

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