Washington, DC (NAPSI) - Many people in other parts of the world still see theU.S. as a place where they can enjoy the opportunity for greater freedom and prosperity. Both these benefits of living in the U.S., however, come with certain obligations.

For example, practically all male noncitizens are required to register with the Selective Service System. This includes legal and undocumented residents, permanent residents, and refugees.

The general rule is that if a male noncitizen resides in the U.S. anytime between ages 18 and 25 for more than 30 days, then he must register with Selective Service.

The exceptions are few. Noncitizens who are in the U.S. on student or visitor visas, and men who are part of a diplomatic or trade mission and their families, are not required to register.

It is important to note that Selective Service does not collect any registration information that would indicate a person’s immigration status. A Social Security number is not required to register. Also, dual nationals of the U.S. and another country are required to register, regardless of where they live, because they are U.S. nationals.

Penalties Can Be Severe

Failing to register can bring significant penalties. For instance, if prosecuted and convicted, failing to register carries a fine of up to $250,000 and/or a prison term of up to five years.

In addition, a man who fails to register with Selective Service before turning age 26 may find that some opportunities are permanently closed to those who do not register.

For example:

• Men must be registered to qualify for federal student loans or grant programs.

This includes Pell Grants, College Work-Study, Guaranteed Student/PLUS Loans and National Direct Student Loans.

Required For Citizenship

Registration with Selective Service is a requirement for U.S. citizenship if the man first arrived in the U.S. prior to his 26th birthday.

Another opportunity, the federal job training act—called the Workforce Investment Act—is only open to those men who register with Selective Service.

Plus, men must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the executive branch of the federal government and the U.S. Postal Service.

In fact, many states now require proof of registration to get a driver’s license. Registration is easy. Go to your local U.S. post office and pick up a Selective Service registration form, or register online at www.sss.gov.

For additional questions, call (888) 655-1825 toll free.