Just registered for Selective Service; can I still apply for naturalization?
March 16, 2009 2:30 PM   Subscribe

I'm 25 and a Permament Resident of the United States. I want to apply (and am eligible) for citizenship. Stupidly, I neglected to register for Selective Service until now. However, I was able to get my registration processed before my upcoming 26 birthday (the absolute deadline for registration). Can I apply for citizenship, or will I not have the requisite five years of good moral character, since I haven't registered until very recently?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I doubt very, very much that the bureaucratic folks that process naturalization paperwork will do anything other than check to make sure that you're registered; that is, they won't make any judgment with regards to when you registered. Bureaucrats don't do the kind of "should" that you're thinking of - "If he had good moral character, he should have registered as soon as he could."

What "good moral character" means, basically, is that you don't have a criminal record. There are a few other things - denouncing the United States, or announcing that you use illegal drugs like marijuana, for example, but those are things that only at least semi-famous people get noticed doing. It's overwhelmingly likely that you're just going to be processed as another set of papers that just need to go through the standard checklist.
posted by WestCoaster at 3:12 PM on March 16, 2009

You complied with the requirement of registering, it shouldn't matter how long it took you. Applications for citizenship have only been denied for failure to comply, and WestCoaster is right about the "moral character" requirement--it is in place to disqualify criminals from citizenship.
posted by halogen at 3:56 PM on March 16, 2009

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