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Who Must Register for Selective Service When Entering the United States

For foreign nationals who are in the process of immigrating to the United States, possibly on a permanent basis, there are a few little-known rules that they should keep in mind. One of these may sound scary and it is important to not misunderstand what it is. This is registering for the US selective service system. One of these is the time an applicant must wait before he or she applies for naturalization.

Registering for the US Selective Service System does not necessarily mean that the immigrant will be forced to serve in the armed forces. All it means is that if there was ever a situation of war in which the US military needed more personnel to serve in the armed forces than they have at the time, the draft may be implemented. This means that all the young men who registered for the Selective Service System may potentially be drafted to help fight the war.

The chances of the draft being implemented are highly unlikely. It would take an event on such a scale for the US government to even consider implementing the draft. The only time the draft was used in the United States was when the US entered World War II. The draft continued from there until 1973. It would take a war on a global scale for the United States government to ever need to rely on the draft again. Registering for the Selective Service System is just a safety net in case war ever broke out again on a global scale.

Since 1973, the US has been involved in many wars, most notably the war against Iraq and Afghanistan. However, even these wars did not require the use of the draft since the US military was and still is quite large and well trained.

Not all immigrating men are required to register with the selective services system however. Most men who are between the ages of 18 and 25 must register in a timely manner. The government mandates that the young men who qualify to register must register within 30 days of arriving in the US. This rule also applies to all U.S. born and naturalized citizens, parolees, undocumented immigrants, legal permanent residents, asylum seekers, refugees. In short, if the male has not reached the age of 26 before coming to the United States, once they arrive he must register.

It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case. 

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