TN 12 (05-05)
SI 00502.115 Verification of Alien Eligibility with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
In general, an alien must submit acceptable documentation of his/her noncitizen status (e.g., as a qualified alien, etc.). This section provides general procedures for verifying this documentation of alien status and instructions for specific categories of aliens, such as refugees and “Cuban/Haitian entrants.”
IMPORTANT: Follow instructions in the table in SI 00502.115E.9. if a national of Cuba or Haiti adjusted to LAPR status under NACARA, HRIFA, or CAA 66.
Use the following chart to find the information that you need.
General guidelines for when verification is required
How to contact DHS
Verification procedures for specific alien categories
Block-by-block instructions for the Supplement to the G-845
Follow Up on Development
Exhibit of the Supplement to the G-845
Documentary evidence requirements for Canadian-born American Indians who are in the U.S. under section 289 of the INA and noncitizen members of Federally recognized Indian tribes
See SI 00502.105
Specific documentary evidence requirements for qualified aliens
B. Policy - when verification is required
1. When a DHS immigration document must be verified before adjudication
Verify an immigration document/alien status before adjudication if an alien presents a current DHS document(s) that shows a potentially eligible status and one of the following conditions exists:
The document does not contain all data necessary to make a determination;
The document is of questionable authenticity;
“Cuban/Haitian entrant” status is material to eligibility. (Establishing “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status is based on meeting special requirements as determined by DHS);
There is reason to believe that alien status has changed.
2. When a DHS immigration document can be used without verification
A document may be used to determine whether the SSI alien eligibility requirements are met without verification if all of the following requirements are met:
The document has not expired;
Contains all information necessary to determine alien eligibility;
Conforms to the description in the appropriate evidence requirement section in SI 00502.130 and/or the Administrative Confidential Memorandum; and
“Cuban/Haitian entrant” status is not material to eligibility.
For example, “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status is not material if a national of Cuba or Haiti has documentation that he/she became LAPR on 5/26/96 and has been found blind or disabled. This is because the alien meets the qualified alien requirement based on LAPR status. He/she meets the exception condition requirement for blind/disabled aliens who were lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/96 (SI 00502.142). Lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/96 is based on LAPR status obtained on 5/26/96. Refer to SI 00502.115E.9. for verification of “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status.
C. Procedure - how to contact DHS
1. SAVE primary verification
a. Information that can be verified using SAVE primary verification (SAVE online)
At this time, the only information that can be verified using SAVE online (i.e., the ASVI database) is:
LAPR (SAVE output of “Lawful Permanent Resident - Employment Authorized” confirms LAPR status),
IMPORTANT: A G-845/G-845 Supplement is still needed to determine whether an alien who adjusted to LAPR under NACARA, HRIFA, or the CAA66 meets another category of “Cuban/Haitian entrants” or another eligible alien category at an earlier date in time. Refer to SI 00502.108B.6., SI 00502.115E.9. and SI 00502.130B.7. for verification procedures/documents for “Cuban/Haitian entrants.”
Nationality (COUNTRY OF BIRTH), and
Refugee status and date of entry (see SI 00502.115D.2.).
b. When SAVE primary verification cannot be used
Verify alien status using DHS Form G-845 and the Supplement to the G-845 (see SI 00502.115E. and SI 00502.115G.) rather than the online SAVE query if any of the following conditions exist:
The alien is a national of Cuba or Haiti and “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status is material to eligibility (see SI 00502.115E.9.)
EXCEPTION: A SAVE primary response indicating Cuba or Haiti as the country of birth may be used to verify only Cuban or Haitian nationality, unless there is evidence that the alien has relinquished Cuban or Haitian citizenship.
NOTE: A national of Cuba or Haiti who has adjusted to a LAPR status under the NACARA, HRIFA, or the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 (CAA 66), could also meet one of the other “Cuban/Haitian entrant” categories in SI 00502.108B. Therefore, the alien acquired status as a “Cuban/Haitian entrant” or a status that is to be treated as a “Cuban/Haitian entrant” beginning with the earlier of:
The date the person adjusted to LAPR status under NACARA, HRIFA , or the CAA66; or
The earliest point he/she met one of the other Cuban/Haitian entrant categories (e.g., Category 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, or 2C). Therefore, it is necessary to ask DHS to complete the G-845 supplement in SI 00502.115G.
The biographical data on the SAVE online response and the alien’s document or the SSA record do not identify the same person;
The SAVE output data would cause the denial or termination of SSI benefits;
The SAVE output indicates “INSTITUTE SECONDARY VERIFICATION.”
2. SAVE secondary verification: status of qualified aliens and american indians born in Canada
Use DHS Form G-845 to request secondary verification (i.e. manual verification) from DHS for aliens who present DHS documentation of qualified alien status or status as a Canadian born American Indian in the U.S. under Section 289 of the INA.
NOTE: Canadian-born American Indians in the U.S. under section 289 of the INA are not required to have a DHS document in order to establish this status. Therefore, do not use the G-845/G845 Supplement process if a Canadian-born American Indian alleges status under section 289 of the INA but does not have DHS documentation. See SI 00502.105 for how to develop this status in the absence of DHS documents.
Use the following links to DHS’ website for an electronic version of the G-845:
Prepare the G-845 package as follows:
Complete the appropriate blocks on G-845 in accordance with GN 00303.640.
Check block 7 of the G-845 and enter “SSI claim, see attached,” and attach a copy of the April 2003 version of the Form G-845 Supplement in SI 00502.115G. See SI 00502.115E. for a description of the entries on the Supplement to the G-845 and how to complete the form. The exhibit of the G-845 Supplement should be reproduced locally.
Attach legible photocopies of both sides of all immigration documents. If you cannot make a legible copy of a document, annotate the best copy available with all pertinent information from the original.
Do not send a copy of the G-845 Supplement alone.
Mail requests directly to DHS or through the parallel FO, in accordance with established procedure. (See RM 10210.210 for further information on contacting DHS by G-845.)
Refer to SI 00502.115E.9. for special verification procedures using the G-845 Supplement for aliens who are nationals of Cuba or Haiti.
Request DHS verification of status, and any other specific information material to the determination, by checking the items indicated in the section of the G-845/G-845 Supplement to be completed by SSA. See SI 00502.115E.
3. SAVE secondary verification: permanently residing in the U.S. under color of law (PRUCOL) status
a. When to use SAVE secondary verification for PRUCOL
If the individual is not eligible as a qualified alien or eligible noncitizen American Indian (SI 00502.105), verify PRUCOL status using SAVE secondary verification only in connection with one of the following:
An application for SSI filed before 8/22/96, or
A redetermination of alien status for a recipient who was receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/96, or
Re-entitlement of an alien who was receiving benefits on 8/22/96
b. How to prepare the G-845 package for DHS
Use DHS Form G-845 (RM 10210.210 or the DHS link in SI 00502.115C.2.) to request verification of alien status from DHS.
Annotate the G-845 with the remark “PRE-08/22/96 PRUCOL CASE” in the block entitled “Other Information Attached” (item 7).
Attach Form SSA-4471, the “SSA Request for Immigration and Naturalization Service Information,” and copies of both sides of the individual’s alien registration document(s) (see SI 00501.430C.). Form SSA-4471 should be reproduced locally. See SI 00502.153 for SSI eligibility for nonqualified grandfathered PRUCOL aliens.
c. Procedure - verification of specific alien categories
Use the following procedures for verifying specific alien categories if:
4. Where to mail DHS forms G-845 and G-845 supplement
Use the USCIS link www.uscis.gov/save to find the address of the corresponding DHS Status Verification Unit. Effective March 1, 2010, The San Francisco USCIS SAVE field office will no longer process Forms G-845. All agencies should mail Forms G-845 to one of the following designated field offices: Los Angeles, CA or Buffalo, NY. To view the mailing addresses please see the “Direct Filing Addresses for Form G-845, G-845 S, and G-845 Supplement, Document Verification Request ” link in the right hand column of the USCIS/SAVE page.
DHS will allow a 30-day grace period from March 1 where they will still accept any forms sent to the San Francisco office. After that time, they will return mail to sender for resubmission to the correct address.
In addition, effective November 27, 2009, the USCIS SVO office located at 2221 Clark St. 4th floor, Crystal City, VA., has closed permanently. Effective November 30, all Cuban Haitian Entrant (CHE) status verification are processed by the Buffalo USCIS SVO office. FOs are to mail all G-845 Supplement requests to the following address: DHS/USCIS
Status Verifications Operations
ATTN: CASE RESOLUTION UNIT
10 Fountain Plaza, 3rd Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202
Ensure the “Case Resolution Unit” label is shown on the address. This will identify the mailing as a CHE verification and will be routed accordingly. Non-CHE verifications are to follow USCIS procedures; i.e., matching your FO with the state or county and the corresponding USCIS verification center per the instructions in www.uscis.gov/save .
D. Procedure - verification of specific alien categories
Use the following procedures for verifying specific alien categories if:
If the alien presents an I-551 or other acceptable evidence of LAPR status, query SAVE online to verify the document and status (see SI 00502.115C.1.).
IMPORTANT: A national of Cuba or Haiti who adjusts to LAPR status under NACARA or HRIFA is to be considered a “Cuban/Haitian entrant.” Also, a national of Cuba or Haiti who adjusts to LAPR status under the CAA 66 is to be treated as a “Cuban/Haitian entrant” for SSI eligibility purposes. See SI 00502.108B.5., SI 00502.108B.6., and SI 00502.115E.9. for more information on these provisions.
b. Conditional permanent residents
Some LAPR aliens have conditional permanent resident status. This is indicated by an I-551 (Alien Registration Receipt Card) valid for only a 2-year period. These aliens must apply for removal of the conditional basis 90 days before the second anniversary of the admittance date to the U.S. Failure to do so results in termination of the alien’s lawful status. A conditional I-551 is identified by an expiration date 2 years later than the admittance/adjudication date, and status must be re-verified upon expiration. (See GN 00303.400F.1., GN 00303.400F.2. and the Administrative Confidential Memo for a description of I-551 cards.)
Query the SAVE online database to verify a refugee’s date of entry into the U.S. using the alien’s “A” number if:
The alien does not have an I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) showing when he/she entered the U.S., and
He/she presents a current DHS employment authorization document Form I-688B or I-766 annotated with “274a.12 (a) (3)” or “A3” as evidence of refugee status (see SI 00502.130B.4.a.).
The online response entry in the “Date of Entry” field is the date the alien entered the U.S. Establish refugee status based on the SAVE online verification if the alien appears eligible (i.e., meets an exception condition) and the conditions for using primary SAVE verification in SI 00502.115C.1. are met.
IMPORTANT: If the SAVE online response results in a determination of ineligibility, verify alien status using manual SAVE verification procedures (i.e., the G-845 and Supplement to the G-845 in SI 00502.115E.) before adjudication.
NOTE: At this time, do not use the refugee verification procedure with the Department of State Refugee Data Center (currently in use for enumeration purposes) to establish SSI alien eligibility. We will issue additional instructions if and when these verification methods become available for SSI cases.
3. Parolees for 1 year or more
Verify status with DHS annually. When processing an award for a parolee, establish a diary using the usual procedures based on the earlier of:
The expiration date of the claimant’s parole period; or
One year from the date of adjudication.
See SI 00502.130B.3. for documentary evidence of parole status.
Refer to SI 00502.115E.9. for when to verify Cuban/Haitian entrant status for certain parolees before adjudication.
4. Cuban/Haitian entrants
See SI 00502.115E.9. for instructions on how to verify Cuban/Haitian entrant status.
5. Qualified aliens based on battery or extreme cruelty while in the U.S.
Follow the procedure in SI 00502.116F for documentation and verification of qualified alien status based on battery or extreme cruelty while in the U.S.
E. Procedure - the supplement to the G-845
Complete the Form G-845 Supplement. You may complete the top section online on your computer. Enter the information requested in the section of the Supplement entitled “To Be Completed by Requesting SSA Office” and check the appropriate items. Include your administrative phone number in the “SSA FO Contact Name, Address and Telephone” block. DHS will complete the requested items on the rest of the form. The DHS section is not fillable online.
1. Current immigration status (#1)
Request verification of alien status if the alien alleges being in a qualified status, but the document(s) presented is expired, inconclusive, or otherwise questionable, there is other reason to believe the alien’s status has changed, or SAVE online verification is not successful.
IMPORTANT: Request the current immigration status if the alien is of Cuban or Haitian nationality and “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status is material to eligibility. Annotate the SSA portion of the G-845 Supplement with the category or categories of “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status that may apply. See SI 00502.108B for descriptions of these categories and SI 00502.115E.9. for verification of “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status.
NOTE: If the alien is a Cuban or Haitian national and has adjusted to LAPR under NACARA, HRIFA, or the CAA 66, follow SI 00502.115E.9. for verification procedures.
2. Date alien entered the U.S. (#2)
Request this date if the alien is in refugee or LAPR status and alleges entry into the U.S. as a refugee in the past 7 years, or if the date is needed to code the Supplemental Security Record (SSR). Do not request the date of entry if it is shown on the DHS document or is accessible using SAVE online. See SI 00502.115E.9. for requesting the date of entry for Cuban/Haitian entrants.
3. Effective date of current immigration status (#3)
Ask DHS to provide this date if the alien:
Alleges that he/she is an asylee and that asylum was granted within the past 7 years and presents current DHS documentary evidence of asylee status that does not indicate the effective date of asylee status; or
Alleges that he/she was paroled into the U.S., the parole period cannot be determined based on the DHS document, and the parolee appears to meet a condition that permits eligibility for qualified aliens, such as the military service condition (SI 00502.100A.3.); or
Alleges that Deportation/removal was withheld within the past 7 years and presents current DHS documentary evidence showing that deportation was withheld under section 243(h) of the INA (as in effect before 4/1/97) or removal withheld under section 241(b)(3) of the INA, and the documentary evidence does not indicate the date withholding was granted; or
Was admitted to the United States within the last 7 years as an Amerasian immigrant; or
Is a national of Cuba or Haiti and may meet one or more of the categories of Cuban/Haitian entrants or aliens who are to be treated as Cuban/Haitian entrants (SI 00502.108B.1. through SI 00502.108B.6.).
NOTE: Do not request the “effective date of the current immigration status” for an LAPR unless LAPR status cannot be verified via the SAVE online query.
4. Date current immigration status expires (#4)
Request this date if both of the following apply:
The alien appears to meet one of the eligibility conditions in SI 00502.100A.3.; and
The alien presents a current immigration document indicating one of the following situations exists:
Current parole status, but the document does not show the period for which parole has been granted; or
Status as a conditional permanent resident that does not show when the conditional period expires. (A conditional permanent resident is LAPR, but he/she must meet certain DHS conditions by the expiration date of his/her conditional status in order to remain in U.S. on a permanent basis).
“Cuban/Haitian entrant” status is material to eligibility. See SI 00502.115E.9. for complete instructions on how to verify “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status.
5. Prior immigration status (item #5)
Request this item if the alien is currently in a qualified alien status and meets one of the following:
The alien is potentially eligible based only on the 7-year time limited eligibility provision and alleges a prior immigration status in one of the following time limited categories (SI 00502.106):
The alien is potentially eligible without a time limit if the alien is blind or disabled and was lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/96. Request DHS to complete item “5.f” of the G-845 Supplement in this situation.
Cuban/Haitian entrant status is material to eligibility.
6. Citizenship status (#6)
This item is for future use by DHS. Do not request information from DHS pertaining to verification of U.S. citizenship documents.
7. Special benefit provisions for certain victims of abuse (#7)
Do not request this item regarding the sponsor-to-alien deeming exception for certain battered aliens until further instructions are received. See SI 00502.240D.2.
CAUTION: Do not use this item of the G-845 Supplement to verify qualified alien status based on battery or extreme cruelty. See SI 00502.116F. for the evidence requirements and special verification procedures for establishing qualified alien status based on battery or extreme cruelty.
8. Affidavit of support (#8)
Request DHS verification regarding an affidavit of support in sponsor-to-alien deeming cases in accordance with SI 00502.220 and SI 00502.240G.
9. Cuban/Haitian entrant verification (#9)
Immigration documents, even those showing a current period of “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status, may not identify all periods of such status. Therefore, it is necessary to verify “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status in all cases where that status is at issue unless an exception in SI 00502.115E.9.b. applies. See SI 00502.115E.9.c. for specific instructions on how to verify “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status.
b. Exceptions to DHS verification of Cuban/Haitian entrant status
DHS verification of “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status is not necessary if:
“Cuban/Haitian entrant” status is not material to eligibility (i.e., is not needed for qualified alien status, an exception condition (e.g., the time-limited eligibility provision), or an exemption from the five-year bar on eligibility; or
The alien cannot provide acceptable evidence of immigration status (including “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status) and is being referred to DHS to obtain the necessary document(s). See SI 00502.130B.7. for acceptable evidence of “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status.
c. FO actions to request verification of “Cuban/Haitian Entrant” status
Take the following actions to verify “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status:
Is “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status material to SSI eligibility?
If YES, go to Step 2.
If NO, STOP. It is not necessary to verify “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status, but it may be necessary to verify some other aspect of alien status.
Does the alien have acceptable documentation of “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status? (See the chart in SI 00502.130B.7.c. for a list of acceptable documents.)
NOTE: A DHS document that shows the alien is a national of Cuba or Haiti and that he/she adjusted to LAPR status under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA), or the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 (CAA 66), is acceptable evidence of “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status or a status that is to be treated as a “Cuban/Haitian entrant.”
If YES, Go to step 3.
If NO, STOP. Refer the alien to DHS to obtain acceptable documentation of status in accordance with SI 00502.115E.9.b. 2nd bullet and SI 00502.110B.2.
Verify nationality via primary SAVE database query (SI 00502.115C.1.).
If the alien is not a national of Cuba or Haiti, STOP. He or she is not a “Cuban/Haitian entrant,” and thus cannot be a qualified alien based on that category. No further development of Cuban/Haitian entrant status is necessary; however it may be necessary to develop eligibility under another alien category.
If the alien is a national of Cuba or Haiti, go to step 4.
If based on the SAVE primary response the alien is a national of Cuba or Haiti, and an exception to verification in SI 00502.115E.9.b. does not apply, undertake secondary verification of Cuban/Haitian entrant status as follows:
Prepare the G-845 and the Supplement to the G-845 for DHS’ completion. Use the May 2015 version of the Supplement to the G-845.
Ask DHS to answer the following items on the Supplement to the G-845 by checking the appropriate blocks on the “to be completed by Requesting SSA Office” portion of the supplement:
Item 2 - Date of entry into the United States
Item 3 - the effective date of the current immigration status
Item 4 - the date the current immigration status will expire
Item 5 - Information about prior immigration status
Item 5.f. - Status as of 8/22/96. Request this item if the alien alleges that he/she was lawfully residing in the U.S. as of 8/22/96 (SI 00502.142) and lawfully residing on 8/22/96 is material to eligibility.
Item 9 - Cuban/Haitian entrant status
Attach copies of both sides of the DHS documents to the G-845 package.
IMPORTANT: If Category 2(C) or Category 2(B) “Cuban/Haitian entrant status” with an asylum application is involved, DHS requires written consent from the alien to disclose information related to the application for asylum. Secure the individual’s consent on Form SSA-8510 (SI 00601.100). Include the consent form with the verification request. Check the block “See SSA-8510 attached…” in the “To Be Completed by Requesting SSA Office” section of the G-845 Supplement.
d. FO evaluation of DHS responses on the G-845 supplement
Use the chart and the guidelines on page 6 of the June 2005 version of the G-845 Supplement in SI 00502.115G to evaluate DHS’ responses to the questions relating to “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status.
CAUTION: The chart and the guidelines on page 6 of the G-845 Supplement may not address every issue affecting “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status. Contact your regional office for guidance if you cannot determine alien eligibility based on information provided by DHS on the G-845 Supplement.
F. Procedure - follow-up on request for secondary verification
Absent other arrangements with DHS, allow 30 calendar days, plus 5 days for mail delivery for DHS to process the request before making a follow-up request (RM 10214.205).
NOTE: DHS will make every attempt to respond to verification requests within 20 business days of receipt of the G-845 package.
Form G-845Link to pdf
Form G-845 Supplement Link to pdf