One issue that often doesn’t come up until it’s too late with immigrant clients? Checking to see if they’re registered with the U.S. Selective Service System.
To put it simply: registering is quick, it’s easy, and it’s the law.
Virtually all men, including non-citizens, are required to register when they turn 18, including undocumented immigrants, legal permanent residents, those seeking asylum, and refugees. Selective Service does not collect or share any information which would indicate a man's immigration status.
Non-citizens who are not required to register include men who are in the U.S. on a valid student or visitor visa, and men who are part of a diplomatic or trade mission and their families.
If a young man doesn’t register, he loses eligibility for student loans and grants, federally funded job training programs, and many government jobs. In some states, he may also be unable to renew his driver’s license.
Men can still register up until their 26th birthday. Once they turn 26, however, they can no longer register, and become permanently barred from the opportunities associated with registering. For immigrants, failing to register can also complicate and slow down the process of becoming a citizen. Under current USCIS policy, immigrants who have not registered are not usually eligible for naturalization until they turn 31 – in essence, a five-year penalty.
The easiest place to register is at sss.gov. If he doesn’t have a Social Security number, he can also fill out a paper form at most U.S. Post Offices.