Published on the World Journal Weekly on September 3, 2017

Q&A 1 2 3 4 5

I Did Not Register for Selective Service. Am I Eligible for Naturalization?


At the time that I adjusted my status to permanent residence at the immigration office in Chicago, no one told me that I should register for Selective Service. Now I am too old to register (28) and wonder whether this will affect me a lot if I try to apply for citizenship now. What should I do?

Dear reader,

The policy manual of U.S.C.I.S. says that those who are over 31 years of age and did not register for Selective Service are eligible for naturalization even if they knowingly and willfully failed to register. Applicants between 26 – 31 may be ineligible and U.S.C.I.S. would allow the applicant an opportunity to show that he did not knowingly or willfully fail to register or that he was not required to do so. Applicants under 26 years of age would be generally ineligible (as they still have time to register). In your case, if you wish to apply now, you should obtain a status letter from Selective Service (for more information, go to or call 1-888-655-1825) and write out the reasons for which you did not register along with your lack of knowledge of the requirement and submit such with your application (U.S.C.I.S. prefers a typed or printed statement). Otherwise you can wait until age 31 at which time not registering will no longer be an issue.

Q&A 2

Are Translations in Chinese Required for Consular Interviews in Guangzhou?

My father is petitioning for his sister who is in China, and has documents in Chinese to further show that she is his natural sister. They were both born in a remote place in China where much documentation was not available. Do the documents have to be translated into English? The I-130 petition was approved many years ago.

Dear reader,

The National Visa Center (NVC) confirmed recently that translations are not required on documents if they are in the official language of the country in which the person is applying for the immigrant visa. Where there are translations, the translations must include a statement by the translator that the translation is accurate and the translator is competent to translate. The NVC notes that some embassies or consulates may have additional requirements, and applicants should always follow the documentary instructions on the Embassy or Consulate’s interview instructions.

Q&A 3

Checked the Immigration Online System, but Have Not Received the RFE Sent by U.S.C.I.S. What Can I Do?

My wife filed an I-130 family petition for me, and in checking the U.S.C.I.S. online status screen understand that U.S.C.I.S. sent her a request for evidence (RFE)  last month. We never received anything. What are we supposed to do?

Dear reader,

The first recommendation is to contact the National Customer Service Center of U.S.C.I.S. at 1-800-375-5283.  Your wife should indicate that she did not receive the RFE even though the online case status system shows that the RFE has been sent, and request a duplicate RFE. If there is no response within 30 days, she should send a follow-up email to the service center which is holding the case including the SM RT number in the follow-up email that she would hopefully have received from first communicating with the National Customer Service Center. She can also try an Infopass with the local U.S.C.I.S. field office to see whether it can access and print out a copy of the RFE for you.

Q&A 4

What Are the Chances of My Girlfriend Getting a Visiting Visa to the U. S.?

I am in the U. S. with a green card and my girlfriend (35) who is from Malaysia is presently working as a nanny in Singapore. One of her friends just got a touring visa to come to the U. S. She is thinking about making an application. What are her chances?

Dear reader,

Tourist/visiting visas are given in the discretion of the American consulate. Your girlfriend’s situation does not appear to be promising for tourist visa, but she can try. She would have to convince the American consular officer that she has sufficient ties and bonds outside the United States that she will not stay along with sufficient monies to support herself without working during the period of visit.

Q&A 5

When Will I Get My Naturalization Interview?

After filing for naturalization, I received my biometrics appointment in March 2017. Now I am just waiting for the interview notice from U.S.C.I.S. I am in Philadelphia.

Dear reader,

From looking at the U.S.C.I.S. processing time chart, it appears that naturalization interviews in Philadelphia are being scheduled between 11-12 months from the date of submission. As fingerprints are usually taken approximately 1-2 months after submission, I assume that you filed in January or February 2017. Assuming that the processing time chart is accurate and that this is a normal case, you could expect to be called for an interview within the 3 – 4 months.


Copyright © 2003-2017 Alan Lee, Esq.
The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of the Law Office of Alan Lee or establish an attorney-client relationship.


  View Alan Lee's profile

 View Alan Lee's LinkedIn profileView Alan Lee's profile