• Selective Service Registration Reminder to Men Ages 18 to 26
  • June 17, 2010
  • Law Firm: Fowler White Boggs P.A. - Tampa Office
  • Although there is currently no military draft and the U.S. military is an all-volunteer force, the Selective Service statute applies to both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens. All male residents of the United States born after 1959 are required to register for Selective Service upon reaching the age of 18 unless they are in lawful nonimmigrant status. The obligation to register exists until the man has either registered or reached the age of 26. Registering with Selective Service does not mean that you are joining the military.

    Failure to register or otherwise comply with the Military Selective Service Act is, upon conviction, punishable by a fine of up to $250,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both. In addition, federal and certain state laws require registration as a prerequisite for obtaining student financial aid, job training, government employment, and U.S. naturalization.

    Men Required to Register
    Except for aliens maintaining lawful nonimmigrant status, any man born after 1959 and living in the United States must register for Selective Service. This includes permanent residents, nonimmigrant status overstays and undocumented aliens. The requirement to register with Selective Service also applied to men born before March 29, 1957 who resided in the United States, other than as lawful nonimmigrants, between their 18th and 26th birthdays.

    Eligibility for Naturalization
    Section 316(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires a naturalization applicant to prove that s/he is, and has been for the requisite period, a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed toward the good order and happiness of the United States. Section 337(a)(5)(A) of the INA also requires applicants to declare under oath his or her willingness to bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law. Therefore, refusal to or knowing and willful failure to register for Selective Service during the period for which an applicant is required to prove his compliance with 316(a)(3) supports a finding that the applicant is not eligible for naturalization, because he has failed to establish his willingness to bear arms when required and his disposition to the good order and happiness of the United States.

    For more information on how to register, go to www.sss.gov. For information on effects on an application for naturalization, please contact Jennifer G. Roeper.