Citizenship

Old Apr 11th 2001, 6:05 pm
  #1  
Dario Delgado
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Hi!

I am 34 yrs old and 5 year GC holder. I will be filling out my N-400 form shortly.
One of the things that I don't know how to answer is the question about Selective
Service. It asks if if I complied with the Selective Service. I arrived in the US
when I was 25 but had no idea there was such a thing and would have otherwise
registered. So the question is:

How should I answer the question?

Have you ever failed to comply with Selective Service laws? Yes/No

If I say I did not comply with Selective Service laws, will they deny my citizenship
application? How could I have complied with something I did not know about?
 
Old Apr 12th 2001, 10:55 am
  #2  
Rich Wales
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Dario Delgado wrote:

> I am 34 yrs old and 5 year GC holder. . . . One of the things that I don't know
> how to answer is the question about Selective Service. . . . I arrived in the
> US when I was 25 but had no idea there was such a thing . . . . How should I
> answer the question? "Have you ever failed to comply with Selective Service
> laws? Yes/No" If I say I did not comply with Selective Service laws, will they
> deny my citizenship application? How could I have complied with something I did
> not know about?

Short answer: Answer the question with "yes" -- but it probably won't result in
denial of your application for citizenship, because of your age now.

Longer answer:

According to the law, you were supposed to have filed a Selective Service
registration as soon as you got your "green card" -- given the fact that you were
under 26 at the time. Since you did not do this, you =did= fail to comply with the
Selective Service laws -- and this would presumably mean you need to answer the
question on this subject with "yes".

You are legally presumed to have been aware of the law -- "ignorance of the law is no
excuse", etc. If you say you were not aware of it, the burden of proof falls on you
to convince anyone who cares (such as the INS) that your failure to file was not
"knowing and willful" because you were honestly unaware of the registration
requirement. My understanding is that the INS's policy in such situations is to be
extremely skeptical when people claim they were unaware of Selective Service
registration.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (citizenship law) says that an applicant for US
citizenship must establish that he is, and has been for at least the past five years,
"a 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".

Failure to register for Selective Service by your 26th birthday -- if you were
required to do so on account of having had a "green card" at that time -- is
generally interpreted by the INS as evidence that you were =not= of good moral
character, etc., as of your 26th birthday. If you were under 31 now, this misdeed
would fall within the five-year window, and you would generally =not= be allowed to
become a US citizen =unless= you could convince the INS that your failure to register
was not "knowing and willful".

HOWEVER . . . since you are 34 now, your failure to file a Selective Service
registration happened more than five years ago as far as the law is concerned (since
you became ineligible to register once you reached age 26). As I understand the INS
policy, a man who is 31 or older when he files a citizenship application will
generally =not= be barred from citizenship solely because he failed to register for
Selective Service, because the misdeed (if there was one) fell outside of the
five-year "good moral character" window.

See http://www.shusterman.com/natz-ss99.html for a more detailed discussion of
this issue.

Rich Wales [email protected] http://www.webcom.com/richw/dualcit/
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant,
or consular officer. My comments are for discussion purposes only and
are not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice.
 
Old Apr 12th 2001, 2:12 pm
  #3  
Joachim Feise
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Dario Delgado wrote:
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Only male citizens and LPRs younger than 26 have to register for Selective Services.
Since you were older than 26 when you got your GC, you are safe.

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Truthfully, with no, since you were not required to register with Selective Services.

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In your case, no, since you didn't violate the Selective Services law. In other
words, you accidentally complied with the law. BTW, post offices usually display a
brochure about Selective Services.

Joe
 
Old Apr 12th 2001, 4:19 pm
  #4  
Rich Wales
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Dario Delgado wrote:

> > I am 34 yrs old and 5 year GC holder. . . . I arrived in the US when I was 25
> > . . . .

Joachim Feise replied:

> Only male citizens and LPRs younger than 26 have to register for Selective
> Services. Since you were older than 26 when you got your GC, you are safe.

Dario, when you arrived in the US at age 25, what was your status?

There are, in fact, a few categories of non-citizens other than lawful permanent
residents who are required to file a Selective Service registration: seasonal
agricultural workers, refugees/ parolees/asylees, and "illegal" aliens (yes,
that's right).

More info on who must (or need not) register can be found at:

http://www.sss.gov/FSwho.htm http://www.sss.gov/must.htm

Rich Wales [email protected] http://www.webcom.com/richw/dualcit/
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant,
or consular officer. My comments are for discussion purposes only and
are not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice.
 
Old Apr 12th 2001, 4:49 pm
  #5  
Joachim Feise
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Rich Wales wrote:
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I learn something every day Thanks for the education.

-Joe
 
Old Apr 14th 2001, 6:10 pm
  #6  
Dario Delgado
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I arrived here as a visitor (B2) when I was 25. I did AOS when I was 30.

Would it make a difference if I had arrived without inspection?


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Old Apr 15th 2001, 6:26 pm
  #7  
Ingo
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Yes. As a B-2, you were excempt from Selective Service. As Rich pointed out, as
an illegal alien, you would not have been excempt. You were older than 26 when
you did the AOS - which would end your excemption, but you were already too old.
So no problem.

Ingo

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. For reliable advice, please consult
with a professional immigration attorney.

For further information, check the following frequently-requested links.

For many questions, you may find answers at
http://travel.state.gov/visa_services.html (Department of State)

or http://ins.usdoj.gov (INS).

For consular policies and visa reciprocity fees, find your consulate in
http://travel.state.gov/links.html

For DOL Faxback status information: http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/

For information on affidavit of support for marriage to US citizens (I-864), go to
http://travel.state.gov/i864gen.html and http://travel.state.gov/checklist.html

For information on entering the US as a K-1: http://www.k1poelist.com/

For poverty levels, see http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/poverty/00poverty.htm

For information on H/L/O/P visa extensions at Dept. of State in St. Louis, MO, see
http://travel.state.gov/revals.html

For non-official information, check:

(When using these sites, and any Web sites, please watch out for privacy, as I do not
know all site operators.)

http://www.visalaw.com http://www.shusterman.com http://www.immigration.com
http://members.aol.com/MDUdall http://www.murthy.com/ http://www.srs-usvisa.com
http://www.getusavisa.com http://greencard-lottery.virtualave.net/
http://www.jcvisa.com (H-1B) http://www.h1bresources.com (marriage and fiancee)
http://www.kamya.com/misc/ (marriage and fiancee) http://www2.apex.net/users/thehydes
http://www.formshome.com http://www.workpermit.com

This is not an endorsement of any of these Web sites. I am not affiliated with any of
the Web site owners and do not receive nor accept payment in return for listing them,
and typically don't even know them.

(if believe you have a good immigration-related Web site and want your Web site
listed here, please e-mail me).
 
Old Apr 16th 2001, 5:30 pm
  #8  
Dario Delgado
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I know you can not give legal advise but I am still confused. How should I answer
the question?

Have you ever failed to comply with Selective Service laws? Yes/No

It seems from the posts here that I would not have a problem naturalizing, but I am
still not clear if that means answering Yes or No to the question.

Thanks for all the help!

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[usenetquote2]> >I arrived here as a visitor (B2) when I was 25. I did AOS when I was 30.[/usenetquote2]
[usenetquote2]> >[/usenetquote2]
[usenetquote2]> >Would it make a difference if I had arrived without inspection?[/usenetquote2]
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Old Apr 17th 2001, 5:40 am
  #9  
Rich Wales
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Dario Delgado wrote:

> I arrived here as a visitor (B2) when I was 25. I did AOS when I was 30.

Were you genuinely a visitor for the entire period of time that began when you first
came to the US and ended when you turned 26?

If you went out of status before your 26th birthday (such as by over- staying your
visitor's visa, taking illegal employment, etc., etc.), then my understanding is that
you became obligated to register for Selective Service as soon as your presence in
the US was no longer legal.

On the other hand, if you were still a bona-fide visitor until at least the day you
reached age 26 -- but you went out of status on or after that day -- my understanding
is that you never had a need to register for Selective Service.

In either case, you may wish to contact Selective Service now and go through their
procedure (described on their web site) to obtain an official ruling from them as to
whether you were, or were not, supposed to have registered. (Note that Selective
Service will not get involved in the question of whether a failure to register was
"knowing and willful"; that determination is up to the INS.)

You may also seriously wish to consider talking to an experienced immigration lawyer
-- especially if there is any doubt at all as to whether you remained in status all
the way until your 26th birthday.

If you absolutely cannot figure out, 100% for certain, whether or not you should have
registered for Selective Service or not, I would guess that you'd be better off
assuming you should have (i.e., answer the nasty question with "yes") and explain
that you weren't aware of this at the time. Since your 26th birthday took place more
than five years ago, your failure to register really shouldn't matter to the INS any
more in any case. But I wouldn't recommend making even this seemingly innocent
decision without discussing it with a lawyer first.

Rich Wales [email protected] http://www.webcom.com/richw/dualcit/
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant,
or consular officer. My comments are for discussion purposes only and
are not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice.
 

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