With some narrow exceptions, all male naturalization applicants between the ages of 18-26 are required to register with Selective Service. Failure to register for Selective Service can result in the denial of your naturalization application because registering for Selective Service demonstrates “good moral character” and is evidence of an attachment to the principles of the United States Constitution. Both are are requirements to naturalization. Additionally, if you left the United States to avoid being drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces, you could face a permanent bar to naturalization.
CIS has been cracking down on the failure to register, especially since the Adjustment of Status (green card) form contains a specific warning to applicants of the duty to register and the consequences for failing to register. This appears right above the signature line for a green card application. This can make the later determination by a CIS naturalization officer harder to fight. Many individuals who do not have competent immigration attorneys working with them through the process or representing them at the interview are blindsided by this issue.
There are certain exceptions that may apply and we can help. In some situations, failure to register for Selective Service may only be applicable for a certain period of time. Also, you may not have been required to register for Selective Service, as the law provides exceptions for those not required to register. If the failure was not willful, it may still be possible to receive an approval on your naturalization application.
SGG’s team of attorneys handle difficult naturalization cases frequently and represent clients in fighting adverse determinations based on lack of good moral character in naturalization cases. It is critical to know what consequences you may face if applying for naturalization and whether any exceptions apply. Call us to discuss your case and options today.