By Carol Mason, Contributor
IMPORTANT: All men between the age of 18 and 26 who have residency in the U.S. must register for Selective Service, even if they are out of status (overstayed their legitimate period of stay), are undocumented, or have entered the country illegally. Selective Service registration is very important, as many people who may be out of status or unlawfully present at one time in the U.S. may eventually have their status legalized in the future. Anyone in this situation who is or was required to register for Selective Service but failed to do so may have his naturalization/citizenship application denied, or he may be denied other benefits such as federal student aid, job training benefits and most federal employment.
Selective Service is the system which provides additional manpower for the U.S. military in times of need.Although the U.S. currently maintains an all-volunteer military, and has done so since 1973, the Selective Service remains in place to cover future crises.
WHICH NON-US CITIZENS ARE REQUIRED TO REGISTER FOR SELECTIVE SERVICE?
The following categories of aliens are required to register: permanent resident aliens; seasonal agricultural workers; refugee, parolee and asylee aliens; undocumented aliens; and U.S. citizens with dual nationality.Not all who register face induction into the military, however.For example, aliens who have lived in the U.S. for less than a year are exempt from military service (although they must register).Claims for exemptions are examined by a man’s Local Board, and military examiners make the final decision regarding exemptions.
WHICH NON-US CITIZENS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO REGISTER FOR SELECTIVE SERVICE?
Diplomatic and consular personnel and their families, foreign students, and tourists with an unexpired I-94 are not required to register.WILL REGISTERING FOR SELECTIVE SERVICE CAUSE ME TO GET DEPORTED? ANSWER: NO!
Selective Service registration information is not shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials or local police/federal agents. The status of the registrant is not asked at the time of registration.Selective Service registration forms are available at any U.S. Post Office, and you can fill in the form, affix postage, and mail to the Selective Service without having to speak to anyone.I DON’T HAVE A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER – CAN I STILL REGISTER? ANSWER: YES!
You can register at any U.S. Post Office.Simply leave the space for the Social Security Number blank.When you receive a Social Security Number, you can then notify Selective Service of the number by sending a copy of your new Social Security card with your complete name, date of birth, Selective Service registration number and current mailing address to: Selective Service System, P.O.. Box 94636, Palatine, IL 60094-4636.
Whatever your immigration or citizenship status, registration for Selective Service is vital.It’s easy, it doesn’t involve Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and it protects many of your future rights and pursuit of legitimate status.If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26, stop by your local post office and register today!