Selective Service In The Naturalization Process

May 4, 2011 § 3 Comments

The Selective Service System is a means by which the US maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription.

Men aged between 18 and 25 and living in the US must register with Selective Service. According to law, a man has to register within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Though late registrations are accepted, they will not be accepted after a man has reached 26 years of age. If you have not registered, you may be denied benefits or a job. You can register at any US Post Office and do not need a social security number for that. When you do get a social security number, inform the Selective Service. Furnish a copy of your new social security number card; ensuring you include your complete name, date of birth, SS registration number and current mailing address. Mail it to the Selective Service System, P.O. Box 94636, Palatine, IL 60094-4636.

Who Must Register for Selective Service?

• With few exceptions, all male US citizens and male aliens residing in the US and its territories have to register within the period starting 30 days before, and ending 30 days after, their 18th birthday.

• Parolees, refugees, and applicants for asylum are considered to be residents of the U.S. and therefore must register.

• Men who are handicapped who are able to function in public, with or without assistance have to register. A friend/relative can help such a handicapped man to fill the registration form if he is unable to do so himself.

• Members of the National Guard and Reserve Forces, not on full-time active duty, must register.

Who Is Exempt From Registration?

• Females.

• Non-immigrant aliens (men on visitor or student visas and members of diplomatic or trade missions and their families who were admitted lawfully) as they are residing in the US temporarily.

• Men who did not register due to unavoidable circumstances, such as being hospitalized, institutionalized, or incarcerated. However, such persons have to register within 30 days after their release.

• Armed Forces members on full-time active duty. This also applies to cadets and midshipmen at the US service academies. But, upon release from active duty, such persons have to register within 30 days if he is not yet 26 years of age and has not yet registered.

• Men cannot register after reaching age 26.

Selective Service registration is one factor that USCIS uses to assess whether an applicant has “good moral character”.

In addition to the above mentioned requirement, you must take the Oath of Allegiance as part of the American Citizenship process. When you take the oath, you

• Promise to renounce foreign allegiances.
• Promise to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the US.
• Promise to fight in the US Armed Forces, perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces, and perform civilian service in the US.

If you cannot serve in the military because of your religious beliefs, you can be exempted from the Armed Forces requirements. I n such a case, you have to send a letter with your naturalization packet requesting a modified Oath and also provide an explanation as to why you cannot take the Oath as written originally.

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