TN 8 (04-10)

RM 10211.050 Evidence of Lawful Alien Status for a Citizen of a Compact of Free Association (CFA) Nation Applying for an SSN Card

The Compact of Free Association (CFA) is a joint resolution between the United States, Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of Palau. The resolution established a special relationship between the United States and these nations. Amendments to the CFA have included changes to immigration provisions. Follow these instructions when a citizen of a CFA nation applies for an SSN.

EXCEPTION: If the citizen of the CFA nation has evidence of lawful permanent resident status (LPR), follow RM 10211.025.

A. Who is a citizen of a CFA nation?

A person born or naturalized in one of the following countries:

  • Federated States of Micronesia;

  • Republic of the Marshall Islands; or

  • Republic of Palau.

B. Policy for citizen of CFA nation

Citizens of CFA nations are not citizens or nationals of the United States.

1. Citizens of a CFA nation admitted to the US under the CFA:

  • can reside and work in the U.S,

  • are treated as permanent resident aliens with permanent employment authorization, and

  • are issued unrestricted SSN cards (cards without a legend).

NOTE: For purposes of this policy US includes the 50 U.S. States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands.

2. Citizens of a CFA nation outside the US:

  • are not considered permanent resident aliens with work authorization, and

  • may only be eligible for non-work SSNs provided there is a valid non-work reason for an SSN. For valid non-work reasons, see RM 10211.610.

EXCEPTION: If the citizen of the CFA nation is applying for an SSN in the American Samoa, see RM 10210.600.

C. Acceptable evidence submitted by citizen of CFA nation

1. Admitted to the US under the CFA

Follow RM 10211.135 to determine acceptable evidence of nonimmigrant status. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

  • issues an admission stamp with an entry date and no expiration date, and

  • annotates the admission stamp as follows:

CFA Country of Citizenship

Class of Admission (admission stamp annotation)

Republic of Marshall Islands


Federated States of Micronesia


Republic of Palau


NOTE: Do not treat citizens of CFA nations who submit evidence of nonimmigrant status with a different class of admission as permanent resident aliens per RM 10211.050B in this section. To determine if the class of admission shown on the evidence of nonimmigrant status indicates work-authorization, see RM 10211.420.

Citizens of CFA nations in the US who were in the US prior to the CFA may not have evidence of nonimmigrant status as described above. Refer any citizen of a CFA nation who is in the US to the nearest port of entry or to USCIS to apply for an I-94 or Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) if he or she does not submit:

  • evidence of nonimmigrant status as described here, or

  • other DHS evidence of work-authorization.

The fee for citizens of CFA nations to apply for these documents may be waived under certain criteria provided by DHS.

2. Applying in the American Samoa

Citizens of CFA nations in the American Samoa are considered American Samoa aliens and are subject to American Samoa immigration rules. For evidence of lawful work-authorized immigration status issued in the American Samoa, see RM 10210.600.