TN 22 (05-95)
GN 00303.400 Authorized Alien Status
Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101, 101(a)(15), 210 and 289; Social Security Act, Section 1614;
Regulations No. 16, Section 416.1600; 416.1615
A. Policy - DHS Authorization of Aliens
An individual who is not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national and is present in the U.S. must have authorization from DHS to lawfully remain in the U.S.
SSA accepts evidence of alien status, in support of a claim for benefits, based on established legal principles governing the rules of evidence. Only original, unexpired DHS documents are acceptable.
An alien is any individual who is not a citizen or national of the U.S.
2. Alien (Foreign - born)
A foreign-born alien is an individual born outside the 50 States, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Swain's Island, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
3. Alien (U.S.- born)
A U.S. born alien is an individual born in the U.S. (to a foreign diplomatic officer parent) who as a matter of international law is not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. This occurs when the individual was born to a foreign diplomatic officer (ambassador, minister, charge d' affair, counselor, secretary or attache of an embassy, legation or European Economic Community delegation) parent.
4. Admission Stamp
DHS places the admission stamp in the alien’s passport, on the alien’s MRIV or on an I-94. The stamp shows:
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION;
Information about the DHS, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) field office having jurisdiction over the port of entry;
Information about the alien's port of entry and date of admission; and
A four-digit stamp identification number.
The alien's class of admission and the validity date (i.e., the date admitted until) are endorsed in ink by the admitting inspector.
5. Alien Classification
An alien classification is determined by the code on the alien's I-94 or I-551 that identifies the terms and conditions of his/her admission to the U.S.
An asylee is an alien already in the U.S. or at a port of entry who is granted asylum in the U.S. Asylum may be granted to those persons who are unable or unwilling to return to their countries of nationality, or to seek the protection of those countries, because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution.
7. Compact of Free Association Nonimmigrant
A Compact of Free Association nonimmigrant is a permanent nonimmigrant who is residing in the U.S. under the provisions of the Compact of Free Association Act of 1985. Under this Act, citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau may enter, reside and work in the U.S. without restriction. (See GN 00303.450B.2. NOTE.)
8. Conditional Resident Alien
A conditional resident alien is an alien granted a 2-year period of permanent resident status based on a “qualifying” marriage to a U.S. citizen or national, or permanent resident alien. A conditional resident alien has the same DHS documents as an LAPR except that the I-551 expires after 2 years.
NOTE: The Immigration Act of 1990 also grants permanent resident status to alien entrepreneurs who enter the U.S. to engage in a new commercial enterprise and meet certain criteria for investment. These persons must apply for termination of conditional status or the LAPR status terminates.
Department of Homeland Security
10. Family Unity Program
The Family Unity Program, provided by the Immigration Act of 1990, provides for the relief of family members of legalized aliens. The program provides for a temporary stay of deportation and work authorization for the illegal alien spouse or unmarried child of an alien legalized under IRCA. Family members must have entered the U.S. on or before May 5, 1988 and have been residing here on that date. When approved as a Family Unity applicant, the alien is granted a 2-year period of voluntary departure starting on the day of approval on the Form I-797, Notice of Action. The alien is eligible to apply for an I-688B EAD valid for the period of voluntary departure.
11. Green Card
A “green card” is a vernacular term for the Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551, I-151, AR-3 or AR-3a). The current version of the card is not green. (See GN 00303.440B.1.)
12. Illegal Alien (undocumented alien)
An illegal alien (undocumented alien) is a foreign national who entered the U.S. without inspection or with fraudulent documentation or who, after entering legally as a nonimmigrant, violated status and remained in the U.S. without authorization.
An immigrant is an alien who has been lawfully afforded the privilege of residing permanently in the U.S.
14. Immigrant Visa
An immigrant visa is a document on security paper, issued by a U.S. consul abroad, which permits a foreign national to apply to DHS for admission into the U.S. as a permanent resident.
15. Immigration Status
Immigration status is the legal status conferred on an alien by immigration laws.
INA- Immigration and Nationality Act.
IRCA- Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986- A public law (P.L. 99-603) that amended and repealed certain sections of the INA. It provides for the legalization of certain illegal aliens and updates the registry date which allows DHS to process certain illegal aliens differently.
LAPR- Lawfully admitted for permanent residence. This is a lawful immigrant who is residing permanently in the U.S. with the authorization of the DHS.(See GN 00303.420.)
19. Lawfully Admitted But Not For Permanent Residence
An alien lawfully admitted but not for permanent residence is one who is lawfully admitted to the U.S. who is not LAPR. (See GN 00303.450.)
LTR- Lawful temporary resident. This is an alien who has lawful temporary resident status for 1 year under section 201 of IRCA and whose application for legalization has been approved. (See SI 00501.430 for entitlement of LTRs to SSI benefits.)
Nationality refers to the state or country to which a person owes legal allegiance. The country of birth does not necessarily correspond to the nationality.
Naturalization is the conferring of nationality of a state or country upon a person who was born under the allegiance of another nation.
A nonimmigrant is an alien temporarily in the U.S. for a specific purpose. This group includes foreign government officials, visitors, students and temporary employees.
24. Nonimmigrant Visa
A nonimmigrant visa is a stamp placed in a foreign national's passport which permits him/her to apply for temporary admission into the U.S.
A parolee is an alien, who appears to be inadmissible to the inspecting DHS officer, but is allowed to enter the U.S. under emergency conditions or when the alien's entry is determined to be in the public interest. Although parolees are required to leave when the conditions supporting their parole cease to exist, they may sometimes adjust their immigration status to asylee.
A passport is a travel document issued by a competent authority showing the bearer's origin, identity, and nationality, if any, which is valid for the entry of the bearer into a foreign country.
27. Permanent Nonimmigrant
A permanent nonimmigrant is an individual who is a citizen of one of the Compact of Free Association states (currently the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Palau). These individuals may freely enter, reside and work in the U.S. indefinitely. (Develop SSI eligibility under PRUCOL rules in SI 00501.420.)
The acronym “PRUCOL” refers to permanently residing under color of law. PRUCOL is not an alien status; it is a term used to define the eligibility of certain aliens for certain Federal benefits (i.e., SSI, AFDC, Medicaid, unemployment insurance). It includes any alien who is residing in the U.S. with the knowledge and permission of DHS, and whose departure from the U.S. DHS does not contemplate enforcing. (See SI 00501.420.)
A refugee is a person who is outside his/her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution. Unlike asylees, refugees apply for and receive this status prior to entry into the U.S.
The acronym “SAW” stands for Special Agricultural Worker, i.e., seasonal agricultural workers residing in the U.S. who qualify for legalization under section 302 or 303 of IRCA. SAWs are treated as LAPR for SSA purposes. (See GN 00303.440B.4.)
31. Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Temporary Protected Status is granted by DHS to individuals living in the U.S who are from certain designated countries where unsafe conditions make it a hardship to return to that country. Individuals who qualify for TPS are authorized to remain in the U.S. for a specific period of time and are eligible for an I-688B EAD.
32. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI)
In 1947 under the United Nations (UN) Trusteeship Agreement, the UN Security Council made the U.S. responsible for various islands located in the Pacific. In November 1986, the Northern Mariana Islands became a Commonwealth of the U.S. and the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia became self-governing republics. In October 1994 Palau (Belau) became a self-governing republic. (See GN 00303.400E. for additional information.) There are no islands still under the Trusteeship.
33. Undocumented Alien (Illegal Alien)
An undocumented alien (illegal alien) is a foreign national who entered the U.S. without inspection or with fraudulent documentation or who, after entering legally as a nonimmigrant, violated status and remained in the U.S. without authorization.
A visa is a document, issued by U.S. embassies and consulates in foreign countries, which is a permit for the foreign national to proceed to a U.S. port of entry to apply to DHS for admission to the U.S. The DHS immigration office at the port of entry decides the conditions (i.e., category of admission and length of stay in the U.S.) based on the visa category.
I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record issued by DHS to all documented nonimmigrants (e.g., students, visitors, parolees, refugees and Cuban/ Haitian entrants).
I-151 is the version of the Alien Registration Receipt Card issued to aliens by DHS from July 1946 through late 1978. (See GN 00303.400 Exhibit F.3.)
37. Grommeted I-151
The Grommeted I-151 is the Alien Registration Receipt Card with a grommet (hole surrounded by a metal ring) in the upper right corner. This card was previously issued by DHS to an alien who has LAPR status but lives in Mexico or Canada and commutes to the U.S. to work.
I-551 is the current version of the Alien Registration Receipt Card (Type 1). Beginning in 1978, this card has been issued by DHS to immigrants who have been granted LAPR status and are residing in the U.S. The second digit of the ISS/T field identifies the type of card. (See GN 00303.400 Exhibit F.1. and 2.)
39. Commuter I-551
A Commuter I-551 is the Alien Registration Receipt Card (Type 2). This card is issued by DHS to an alien who has been granted LAPR status but lives in Mexico or Canada and commutes to the U.S. to work. The second digit of the ISS/T field identifies the type of card.
40. Temporary I-551
A temporary I-551 is issued to an immigrant who has either just entered the country and has not yet received an I-551 or to an immigrant who has lost his /her Alien Registration Receipt Card and has applied for a replacement I-551. (See GN 00303.440 B.1.)
I-688 was a Temporary Resident Card. It was a laminated card issued by DHS to legalized aliens and SAWs whose status had been adjusted to LTR. In certain cases, a label (I-688EXT) may have been placed on the back of the card to use until the I-551 is issued. This is not a current immigration form; DHS is no longer issuing this document. There are currently no valid I-688 cards (or I-688 cards with extension stickers).
I-688A was the Employment Authorization Card issued by DHS to legalization and SAW applicants who filed an application to adjust their status to LTR. This is not a current immigration form; DHS is no longer issuing this document. There are no currently valid I-688A cards.
The I-688B, Employment Authorization Document, is a laminated card given by DHS to nonimmigrants who are newly admitted or those with previous employment authorization who need an extension. It replaces the “employment authorization” annotation previously placed on other DHS documents. (See RM 10210.810 and RM 10210.810.)
I-688EXT was a Form I-688 with an extended period of validity of the Temporary Resident Card. In certain situations, DHS placed a sticker on the back of the card. This is temporary evidence of permanent residence until the alien receives an I-551.This is not a current immigration form; DHS is no longer issuing this document. There are no currently valid I-688 cards or I-688 cards with extension stickers.
Use this procedure to verify alien status.
1. Reviewing DHS Documents
Review the DHS document as follows:
Carefully examine any document presented as evidence of alien status for agreement with the guidelines in the Administrative-Confidential Memorandum .
View the document under the black light for conformation to the special identification check points and fluorescence.
FOs with access to the DHS Alien Status Verification Index (ASVI) data base should follow interim verification instructions.
NOTE: Do not accept any:
2. Which Documents To Verify With DHS
Verify the DHS document with DHS if:
The document does not conform with the guidelines in the Administrative-Confidential Memorandum ;
The document does not conform to the black light identification check points;
The DHS stamp does not fluoresce; or
The document does not appear valid.
(See SI 00501.430 for information on how to verify documents with DHS for SSI PRUCOL determination purposes.)
3. Verifying Documents with DHS
To verify documents with DHS:
Photocopy both sides of the DHS document.
Attach the photocopies to a completed G-845. (See RM 10210.205 for how to complete the form and interpret DHS's response.)
Send the completed G-845 and photocopies to the appropriate address.
D. Exhibit of Former Pacific Trust Territory Area
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E. Description of Former Pacific Trust Territories
1. Northern Mariana Islands (NMI)
The NMI are a group of 14 islands which became a Commonwealth on 11/04/86. Residents are generally considered U.S. citizens. (See GN 00303.300B.1.i. and GN 00303.300B.3.d. for citizenship development.)
The main urban area is Saipan. The three main islands are:
2. Republic of Palau
The Republic of Palau is the group of islands collectively known as Palau (or Belau, which is also known as the Western Caroline Islands). Residents are considered permanent nonimmigrants under the Compact of Free Association Act, effective October 1, 1994. They are considered citizens of Palau and may enter, reside and work in the U.S. without restriction.
The major islands are:
3. Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)
Residents of the Federated States of Micronesia are permanent nonimmigrants under the Compact of Free Association Act, effective 10/21/86. They are considered citizens of FSM and may enter, reside and work in the U.S. without restriction.
This republic consists of the States (former districts of the TTPI) of:
The capital is Kolonia, Pohnpei. The major areas are:
Wenn (or Weno, formerly known as Moen), Tol, Dublon, Fefan (State of Chuuk)
Sokehs, Kitti (State of Pohnpei)
4. Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)
Residents of the Republic of the Marshall Islands are permanent nonimmigrants under the Compact of Free Association Act, effective 10/21/86. They are considered citizens of RMI and may enter, reside and work in the U.S. without restriction.
This republic is composed of hundreds of small islands. The most populated ones are:
F. Description of DHS Cards
For additional information refer to the guidelines in the Administrative-Confidential Memorandum .
1. Revised I-551
The revised I-551, Alien Registration Receipt Card (Type 1) was first issued in late 1989.
a. Card Front
Form I-551 is a laminated card. The background is off pink colored. The agency name is shown in white on a blue background just under the words “RESIDENT ALIEN.” The DHS seal is light blue. The front includes a photograph of the alien's face, fingerprint and signature. An expiration date is always shown. Cards expire ten years after issue, but may be renewed.
NOTE: A modified I-551 was first issued in 01/92. All cards issued 02/01/93 or later are modified. The only difference is a noticeable removal of the background printing behind the fingerprint block.
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b. Card Back
A map of the U.S. appears on the upper portion of the card back, surrounded by an overlapping rainbow print. The lower portion of the back contains four lines of text, the bottom three of which are machine readable and on a white background.
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2. Original I-551
The original Alien Registration Receipt Card (Type 1) was issued from 1977 to late 1989.
a. Card Front
Form I-551 is a laminated card. The agency name is shown in white on a pastel blue background just under the words “RESIDENT ALIEN.” The DHS seal is light pastel blue. The front includes a photograph of the alien's face, fingerprint and signature.
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b. Card Back
A map of the U.S. appears on the card back, overlaid by machine readable typed data. The first digit of the Issue/Type code indicates the number of alien registration cards issued to the individual. The second digit identifies the type card.
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Form I-151 is the version of the Alien Registration Receipt Card issued to aliens by DHS from July 1946 through late 1977. Form I-151 is not a valid immigration document. The card lacks security features and presents more opportunities for alteration and fraud than the immigration documents currently being issued. From 1992 through 1996, the former Immigration and Naturalization Service conducted a “Green Card Replacement” project to replace the I-151 cards in circulation. Although the card is not a valid immigration document, the person may still retain lawful permanent status.
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