By Kieran C. O Sullivan, Immigration Counselor
|Pro Bono attorneys Chris Lavery and Dan Harrington at the IPC Legal/Immigration Clinics.|
Last Tuesday night saw a record turnout for our legal clinic at the Banshee in Dorchester. Immigrants from all over Ireland attended with questions on visas, legal residency through marriage, and being detained by US immigration. “This was the largest number we’ve seen since we began these clinics six years ago,” said IPC board attorney Dan Harrington who, along with attorney Chris Lavery, provided each attendee a free one to one consultation. We were lucky to have both attorneys Chris and Dan present along with our regular volunteers, Neil Hurley and Sheila Gleeson.
Selective Service and the US Citizenship application form
One attendee had a selective service issue. Selective Service Registration is the government’s way of keeping a database of young men who may be called on in case of draft or national emergency. You are required to register with Selective Service if you are between the age of 18 and 26. Failure to do so can result in penalties.
The application for US citizenship is Form N-400. If the applicant has registered, he must include his selective service number and the date he was registered. If the applicant has failed to register, you should consider attending our next legal clinic in July.
A naturalization applicant who was required to register with the Selective Service and who knowingly or willfully failed to register cannot be considered a person of good moral character for naturalization purposes. If the immigrant has not yet turned 26 years of age, the Selective Service might accept a late registration from the immigrant.
Once you turn 26, however, you cannot register. In that case, the burden is on you to demonstrate that you did not knowingly and willfully fail to register. In practice, the naturalization applicant will find it difficult to establish that he did not knowingly or willfully fail to register with the Selective Service. In these cases, most have to wait until turning 31, and if he has accrued five years of good moral character he may then be eligible to file.
July legal clinic: Date change
Because of the July 4th holiday, our next legal clinic at the Banshee will be on July 10th instead of the first Tuesday of the month. It begins at 630 pm.
Email me your immigration query or a topic you would like us to cover today: Kieran@ipcboston.org