TN 32 (06-12)
GN 00303.001 Requirement of United States (U.S.) Citizenship or Appropriate Alien Status
A. Requirement of U.S. citizenship or appropriate alien status
A claimant must be a U.S. citizen or have the appropriate alien status to be eligible for the following benefits.
B. Definitions of U.S. citizenship or appropriate alien status
1. U.S. citizen
A claimant entitled to the privileges, obligations, and duties of the U.S.; a claimant with the privilege of voting for public offices and is entitled to full protection in the exercise of private rights.
2. U.S. national
A claimant who, though not a citizen, owes permanent allegiance to the U.S.
3. Alien status
The legal status or statutory classification of a claimant who is neither a U.S. citizen nor a U.S. national.
4. Naturalized citizen
A claimant whom U.S. conferred citizenship after his or her birth.
C. Operations policy for citizenship
We treat U.S. nationals as U.S. citizens for Social Security Administration (SSA) purposes.
D. Related Policy
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has jurisdiction for citizenship and alien status decisions regarding claimants in the U.S. The U.S. Department of State is responsible for decisions regarding claimants outside the U.S. The determinations of these agencies are binding on all Federal agencies and all States. It is immaterial whether the U.S. Department of State makes determination before or after SSA's determination. SSA follows the appropriate agency's laws, rules and regulations in making citizenship decisions for eligibility for most Social Security programs.