Every male citizen between the ages of 18 and 25, regardless of where they live or what their citizenship status is must register for the Selective Service according to United States law. Registration must occur 30 days prior to or the 29 days after the person’s 18th birthday, giving male residents a 60 day registration period.
Who Must Register
Almost every male person in the United States between the ages of 18 and 25 must register. Registration does not mean the person will be immediately inducted into the military as there is currently no draft system in place in the United States. If there is a crisis that requires the draft to be instituted, all men registered can be called into service if they are mentally, physically and morally fit.
Registration is required even if the male person is not a United States citizen. Men between the ages of 18 and 25 must register within 30 days of their arrival in the country. Those required to register for the Secret Service include:
- United States born citizens
- Naturalized citizens
- Undocumented immigrants
- Legal permanent residents
- Asylum seekers
- All males with visas of any kind that expired more than 30 days ago
Only a few individuals who are on non-immigrant visas are exempt from registration. The Selective Service does not collect or share any information on the immigrant status and has no authority to collect such information. The federal government has determined that if a male person takes up residence in the United States, they must register for Selective Service.
Dual Nationals and Residents of U.S. Territories
Men who hold dual residency between the United States and another country are still required to register for the Selective Service. Residents of United States Territories, including:
- American Samoa
- The Federated States of Micronesia
- The Northern Mariana Islands
- Puerto Rico
- Republic of the Marshall Islands
- The Virgin Islands
Men between the ages of 18 and 25 who live in Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana are nationals and must register if they are habitual residents in the U.S. or reside at least one year. Men who are citizens of American Samoa must register when they have resided in the U.S. for at least one year or their presumed residence is the United States. Men who are residents of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, or the Federated States of Micronesia must register if they are considered a habitual resident of the United States. A habitual resident is one who lives in the country for more than one year unless they are an employee of the government of their homeland or are a student who is studying in the United States.
Failure to register could result in denial of benefits, including federal financial aid, state-funded financial aid and federal employment. It may also make them ineligible for security clearance as a government contractor and could allow the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service to deny citizenship.