What is the Selective Service?

The Selective Service is a government agency tasked with providing “trained and untrained personnel to the Department of Defense in the event of a national emergency or and to be prepared to implement an Alternative Service Program for registrants classified as conscience objectors.”

In short, the Selective Service collects the names and contact details of males aged 18 to 25, so that in the event of an emergency or draft, eligible males can be called to military or civil service on behalf of the U.S. Government.

Who is Required to Register?

If you are male and you are a U.S. Citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident OR illegal immigrant between the ages of 18 and 25, you are REQUIRED to register for the Selective Service. If you hold valid nonimmigrant status, such as B tourist, H-1B, L-1 or TN worker or some other valid nonimmigrant status, you are not required to register. The Selective Service website states very clearly that YES, even unauthorized or illegal immigrants are required to register. The following text is from the Selective Service home page and can be found at http://www.sss.gov.


“Selective Service does not collect any information which would indicate whether or not you are undocumented. You want to protect yourself for future U.S. citizenship and other government benefits and programs by registering with Selective Service. Do it today. If you are a man ages 18 through 25 and living in the U.S., then you must register with Selective Service. It’s the law.”

I never registered and now I want to apply for U.S. Citizenship – what do I do?

If you were required to register and failed to do so, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. Prior to filing the application for U.S. Naturalization, we will recommend that you request and obtain a Status Information Letter from the Selective Service. Go to the Selective Service Administration for the application form and instructions from the Selective Service at http://www.ssa.gov.

We can assist in preparing the Request for Status Information Letter as well as the actual Application for U.S. Naturalization.