In some circumstances, prior to coming to the United States, certain individuals may be required to fill out form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application. Completing this form can be stressful enough, let alone the situation where the form is entirely filled out and the website will not let you electronically sign and submit. If you are having trouble submitting the form, it may be because you are required to acknowledge that you, or a family member must register for the U.S. Selective Service System.
Under current U.S. laws, males between the ages of 18 and 26 years old, including those immigrating to the U.S., must register for the U.S. Selective Service System. But when? When completing the DS-260 online, if you (or a family member on the application) fall into the category of individuals that must register, within the DS-260 you will find a link for the DS-1810, Notice of Duty to Register with U.S. Selective Service System. Once the PDF document is opened, the DS-260 can now be submitted online. The form does not have to be signed until you attend your visa interview, and the U.S. Consulate Officer should provide you with a copy of the form when your interview is complete.
Signing the form at your visa interview does NOT mean you have actually registered for the U.S. Selective Service. Rather, signing the form means you have been put on notice that you must register with the U.S. Selective Service within 30 days of entering the United States. The notice form states:
“To register, go to the nearest United States Post Office, obtain a registration form, fill in the information requested and hand the completed form to the postal clerk. Within 90 days you should receive a Registration Acknowledgement postcard form the Selective Service. If you do not hear from Selective Service within this period, it is important that you contact Selective Service to verify your registration status.”
Each U.S. Embassy is required to send the signed notice forms it collects during visa interviews back to the United States every week. So when do you actually register for the U.S. Selective Service? When you arrive to the United States. The U.S. government will receive a signed copy of your notice form, and the failure to go to a Post Office to register for the U.S. Selective Service can result in paying a penalty to the U.S. government. A copy of the DS-1810 Notice of Duty to Register with the U.S. Selective Service System can be found here.