Selective Service System


U.S. non-citizens and dual nationals are required by law to register with the Selective Service System.* Most are also liable for induction into the U.S. Armed Forces if there is a draft. They would also be eligible for any deferments, postponements, and exemptions available to all other registrants.

However, some aliens and dual nationals would be exempt from induction into the military if there is a draft, depending on their country of origin and other factors. Some of these exemptions are shown below:

  • An alien who has lived in the U.S. for less than one year is exempt from induction.
  • A dual national whose other country of nationality has an agreement with the U.S. which specifically provides for an exemption is exempt from induction.
  • [Some countries have agreements with the U.S. which exempt an alien national who is a citizen of both that country and the U.S. from military service in the U.S. Armed Forces.] An alien who requests and is exempt under an agreement or bilateral treaty can never become a U.S. citizen, and may have trouble reentering the U.S. if he leaves.
  • An alien who served at least a year in the military of a country with which the U.S. is involved in mutual defense activities will be exempt from military service if he is a national of a country that grants reciprocal privileges to citizens of the U.S.

During a draft, any claims for exemptions based on any of the above categories would be granted or denied by a man's Local Board.

Military examiners make the final decision about who will be accepted into the military.

*Note: Currently, aliens cannot volunteer for the U.S. military unless they have permanent resident alien status.