LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Elaine Carol Schneider | Oct 14, 2010

Aliens, Dual-Nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents-Who Must Register? Importance with USCIS

Registering for the Selective Service, or Military Draft, is a fairly common question asked by aliens, and lawful permanent residents. One reason the issue is important, is that, any male, who is an alien, from age 18 to 25, must register for the U.S. military, (just as all male U.S. citizens in that age range must register), unless the alien is specially in a status or category that is exempt. The failure to register can lead to disqualification for a naturalization applicant.

At present, only MALES are subject to the U.S. Selective Service Registration.

MALE ALIENS who MUST REGISTER for the U.S. MILITARY, SELECTIVE SERVICE are as follows:

  1. Permanent Resident Aliens, LPR's - USC Form 1-551, ("Green Card" Holders)

  2. Refugee, paroled, and asylee status aliens

  3. Undocumented, (Entering without inspection EWI), Illegally present alien

  4. Special agricultural workers (I-9), but not if only seasonally employed.

  5. Dual Nationals

  6. Disabled, Incarcerated or Hospitalized (When released if before 26), National Guard, Conscientious Objectors,

(These men must register--even though some of them will be excused at a later stage if reviewed).

MALE ALIENS who ARE NOT REQUIRED to REGISTER for the U.S. MILITARY, SELECTIVE SERVICE

  1. Non-immigrants on visas, (for example, foreign nationals present in the U.S. on a visa for a temporary period of time, and for a particular purpose such as a diplomatic, trade mission, or consular visa and family members, foreign students or cultural exchange visitors (e.g. F, M, or J visas), tourists with an unexpired Form I-94, or Border Crossing Document DSP-150) 2. Alien men in full-time military service in the U.S. or attending full-time service academies. (Must register if released prior to age 26).

AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PIECE OF DOCUMENTATION FOR ADJUSTING STATUS TO LPR OR USC:

(Applying for Lawful Permanent Resident or Naturalization/US Citizenship:)

There is documentation about Failure to Register due to being exempt (i.e. Full time student until 26, or done without knowledge) The link follows.... this documentation should be completed prior to any status adjustment application for a man where it could possibly be an issue.

Additional resources provided by the author

Link to information/documentation for a man who did not register: "Request for Status Information Letter" (Once the link is open, a download-able form is available). Following Section 1 and 2, is the ALIEN section which explains who is exempt, and if not, about applying for the letter, and stating reasons why not if within the age category when residing in the U.S. and not exempt. At the bottom of this page, there is also a link to a request for a status information letter. http://www.sss.gov/instructions.html The following link leads to: online registration, checking a registration, and a section for Men 26 and older. http://www.sss.gov/Default.htm

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