Selective Service Registration and Green Card Immigration
(US Permanent Residents)
What is Selective Service Registration?
Selective Service registration allows the United States Government to maintain a list of names of men who may be called into military service in case of a national emergency requiring rapid expansion of the U.S. Armed Forces. By registering all young men, the Selective Service can ensure that any future draft will be fair and equitable.
By registering with Selective Service, a man is not joining the U.S. military. He is only telling the government where he may be contacted if men must be called to serve in the military in a future national emergency. Even in an emergency, not all men would be called, and not all who are called would serve.
Federal law requires that men who are at least 18 years old, but not yet 26 years old, must be registered with Selective Service. This includes all male non-citizens within these age limits who permanently reside in the United States. Men with "Green Cards" (lawful permanent residents) must register. Men living in the United States without USCIS documentation (undocumented aliens) must also register. But men cannot register after reaching age 26.
A male non-citizen who first enters the U.S. as a permanent resident after he has already passed his 26th birthday is not required to register because he is over the age limit. Non-immigrant men who are in the U.S. temporarily (diplomatic corps, trade mission personnel, men holding valid visitor or student visas, etc.) do not register. Women do not register because the law does not apply to them.
Why Do Green Card Holders Need to Register with the Selective Service?
Green Card holders (permanent residents) who fail to register with Selective Service as the law requires may be ineligible for U.S. citizenship and other benefits.
For instructions on registering with Selective Service as an immigrant (Green Card holder), please see the Selective Service System's Registration Information.
If you would like to confirm that you or someone else is registered with Selective Service, please see the Selective Service System's Online Registration Verification.
If you would like answers to frequently asked questions about Selective Service, please see the Selective Service System's Frequently Asked Questions.