TN 26 (08-15)

RM 10211.185 Evidence of Refugee Status for an SSN Card

A. Policy for evidence of refugee status

Treat Social Security number (SSN) applicants who submit evidence of refugee status as permanent resident aliens with permanent employment authorization from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We issue refugees unrestricted SSN cards (cards without a legend).

NOTE: Refugees applying for an original SSN may submit only one document to prove age, identity, and immigration status for an SSN card (i.e. I-94 website printout with Department of State Transportation Boarding Letter with Refugee Admission Stamp). For more information, see RM 10210.020.

B. Acceptable evidence of refugee status

1. Form I-94 (Arrival Departure Record) with refugee admission stamp

The Form I-94 presented by a refugee must have an admission stamp that shows the:

  • legend “Admitted as a refugee/dependent pursuant to Section 207 of the Immigration & Nationality Act. If you DEPART the United States, you will need PRIOR PERMISSION to return;”

  • port of entry (POE), date of inspection, and inspection officer's identification; and

  • words “EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZED.”

In addition, Form I-94 issued to a refugee:

  • does not show a class of admission (or alien classification code);

  • generally, does not show a period of admission. In some cases, the stamp may show “indefinite” or a specific period;

  • may show a handwritten departure number when Customs and Border Protection (CBP) electronically assigns the alien an I-94 number in its system. In these situations, the handwritten departure number supersedes the preprinted number. The preprinted number may or may not be crossed out;

  • generally, shows a typed or handwritten alien registration number (A# or ARN) on the front or back of the I-94, in addition to the I-94 admission number.

An alien granted refugee status as a result of applying as “following to join” the principal refugee will generally have the tear-off I-94 portion of Form I-797A (Notice of Action). This type of I-94 shows the legend “Admitted as a refugee pursuant to section 207 of the Act. If you depart the U.S., you will need prior permission to return.” The tear-off I-94, like the regular I-94, does not show an alien class of admission (or alien classification code).

See Details:

  • Administrative Confidential Memorandum (ACM) for an exhibit of the most recent DHS refugee stamps.

  • RM 10211.135 Evidence of Non-Immigrant Status for an Social Security Number (SSN) Card.

  • RM 10211.140 Entering Non-Immigrant Evidence into the Enumeration System.

2. Combination Customs and Border Protection (CBP) I-94 Website Printout and Department of State (DoS) Transportation Boarding letter with Refugee Admission Stamp

The CBP I-94 website printout of the refugee shows the:

  • Admission (I-94) Record Number;

  • Most Recent Date of Entry

  • Class of Admission of RE

  • Admit Until Date (MM/DD/YYYY);

  • Last/Surname;

  • First (Given) Name:

  • Birth Date (MM/DD/YYYY);

  • Passport Number; and

  • Country of Issuance.

In addition, the refugee must present a DoS transportation boarding letter with a refugee admission stamp. Only one refugee admission stamp is required on the DoS transportation boarding letter. Only one transportation boarding letter will be given to the family of refugees. The DoS transportation boarding letter issued to the refugee family has:

  • Top of the first page states it is “VALID FOR ONE YEAR”;

  • Middle of DoS transportation boarding letter states that DHS/USCIS has approved the application to apply for admission to the U.S. of the below-named alien(s) under section 207(c)(1);

  • Pictures of each individual admitted as a refugee;

  • Underneath each picture is the:

    1. Family Name (Last Name), Given Name (First name and middle name, if any);

    2. A (or ARN) number;

    3. Gender: Male or Female with description of family member such as: Principal Applicant, Wife, Daughter, and/or Son;

    4. DOB (Date of Birth);

    5. COB (Country of Birth)/NAT (Nationality);

The refugee stamp on the DoS transportation boarding letter shows the:

  • legend “Admitted as a refugee/dependent pursuant to Section 207 of the Immigration & Nationality Act. If you DEPART the United States, you will need PRIOR PERMISSION to return”;

  • port of entry (POE), date of inspection, and inspection officer's identification; and

  • words “EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZED.”

An exhibit of the I-94 website printout and DoS transportation boarding letter with the refugee admission stamp is not currently in the ACM. For an exhibit see RM 10211.137 Description of Evidence of Non-Immigrant Status and Admission Stamps.

To enter the I-94 website printout and DoS transportation boarding letter with the refugee admission stamp in the Social Security Number Application Process (SSNAP), select “I-94 w/NO Foreign Passport” on the “Proof of Legal Alien Status” screen. For specific SSNAP instructions, see RM 10211.140B.

3. Form I-766 (Employment Authorization Document) with category A3

A refugee applying for an SSN card may submit an I-766 as evidence of authority to work. If a refugee submits an I-766 but does not submit an I-94 establishing refugee status per RM 10211.185B.1., in this section, accept it as evidence that he or she is a refugee when the I-766 shows “A3,” “A03” or “A-3” under Category. When an I-766 shows these codes, be sure to select the appropriate entry in the drop-down list on the “Proof of Alien Status” screen in Social Security Number Application Process (SSNAP).

As evidence of employment authorization, a refugee who is “following to join” may also have an I-766 in addition to the tear-off Form I-94 portion of Form I-797A. Accept the I-766 with Category A3 as evidence of refugee status when it meets the criteria in RM 10211.185B.2.

NOTE: See the ACM for an example of Form I-766.

C. Verifying refugee status through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE)

As with all DHS immigration statuses, we must verify refugee status. Request a SAVE Initial Verification (IV) per RM 10214.110. You do not need to wait 10 days after the refugee’s arrival to make the IV request. For more information about the 10-day policy, see RM 10213.305. The SAVE IV response verifies refugee status when the DHS response is “Refugee – Employment Authorized.”

If the IV response confirms Lawfully Permanent Residence (LPR) status, determine if the LPR response is acceptable based on the document submitted per RM 10211.025.

D. Procedure when the SAVE IV response does not verify refugee status

If the SAVE IV response does not verify refugee status per RM 10211.185C, in this section, immediately request a SAVE Additional Verification (AV) in all instances.

NOTE: If the ARN is shown on the refugee evidence but was not collected in the Proof of Legal Alien status screen in SSNAP, enter the ARN in the Additional Verification Comments field.

We no longer use the Worldwide Refugee Admission Processing System (WRAPS) fax verification process to verify refugee status. The WRAPS questions may still appear in the SSNAP path. Until we remove the WRAPS questions and functionality from SSNAP, follow the WRAPS work-around provided in RM 10211.185E, in this section, when the IV response does not verify refugee status and the WRAPS questions appear on the SAVE Verification screen.

E. SSNAP WRAPS workaround

If the SAVE IV response did not verify refugee status and the WRAPS questions appear on the SAVE Verification screen, take the following actions:

Step

Action

1

On the SAVE Verification screen, answer “Yes” to the question, “Do you want to print a WRAPS fax?” Click continue.

Go to Step 2.

2

Continue to the Forms screen. Under Select Form to print, select “WRAPS fax.” Click continue.

Go to Step 3.

3

The Print Forms screen will display the next steps of the WRAPS work-around. You are not required to print this document. However, you may print the WRAPS work-around to guide you through the next steps in SSNAP. Continue to the end of the SSNAP path through the Verify and Sign screen.

Go to Step 4.

4

Re-enter the SSNAP application in the Update mode.

Go to Step 5.

5

On the SAVE Verification screen:

  • Answer “No” to the question, “Did the WRAPS fax verify Refugee status?” and

  • Answer “Yes” to the question, “Submit Additional Verification Request to SAVE?” and click continue.

Go to Step 6.

6

Continue to the end of the SSNAP path through the Verify and Sign screen. Select Continue to save the updates.

F. Exhibit of WRAPS work-around page

Until we eliminate the WRAPS verification process from SSNAP, the system will generate a WRAPS work-around page in certain situations when the SAVE IV response does not verify refugee status. The WRAPS work-around page provides the steps field office personnel must take after SSNAP displays the work-around page, also shown beginning in RM 10211.185E. Step 3.

While not required, you will still be able to print a WRAPS page in SSNAP. This is an exhibit of the WRAPS work-around page.

G-RM_10211.185F

 View PDF Version

G. References

  • RM 10210.020 Number of Documents Required for an SSN Card

  • RM 10211.025 Evidence of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status for an SSN Card

  • RM 10211.135 Evidence of Non-Immigrant Status for an SSN Card

  • RM 10211.137 Description of Evidence of Non-Immigrant Status and Admission Stamps

  • RM 10214.150 Requesting Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Additional Verification (AV) of Immigration Documents


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