Selective service registration
|Posted by Manila Mail under Immigration Corner|
Any person, other than aliens maintaining lawful nonimmigrant status, born after 1959 and living in the U.S. must register for Selective Service when he attains his eighteenth birthday. The obligation to register continues until the personâ€™s 26th birthday.
Many aliens who obtain permanent resident status in the U.S. are not cognizant of this statutory requirement. Failure to register for Selective Service could be a problem when the alien applies for naturalization.
One of the fundamental requirements for naturalization is that the applicant must be â€œa person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States.â€ The period during which the applicant must satisfy this requirement is five years immediately preceding the date of filing the naturalization application and continues through the date of the alienâ€™s actual naturalization. The applicant must also be willing â€œto bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law.â€
Although the Immigration Act does not make compliance with this requirement a condition for naturalization, the CIS takes the position that a man who refuses to comply with this requirement is not willing to bear arms when the law requires, supporting the inference that the applicant is not disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States. CIS could deny a naturalization application on this basis, if the applicant who has not yet turned 26 years of age refuses to register for Selective Service.
If the alien applicant has already turned 26 years of age and has not registered, the CIS could still find that the applicant is ineligible to naturalize based on the failure to register. The CIS may presume that the failure to register was â€œknowing and willfulâ€ unless the applicant proves the contrary. An affidavit executed by the applicant setting forth facts indicating an honest omission may satisfy the burden of proof if found credible by the CIS.
If the applicant filed for naturalization after his 31st birthday, the failure to register could no longer be considered to bear upon the good moral character and predisposition to the good order and happiness of the U.S. since the period to register is beyond the period when the alien is required to show good moral character.