TN 3 (06-94)

SI 01320.915 Verifying Sponsorship


Social Security Act, Section 1621(d)

A. Introduction

In general, the field office must verify sponsorship of an alien who is LAPR with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). There is an exception to this rule for certain aliens admitted for legalization under section 245A of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).

This exception is based on the confidentiality provisions relating to requests for adjustment of status pursuant to section 245A of IRCA. These confidentiality provisions preclude DHS from providing information from the alien's file to third parties, including SSA.

DHS does allow the alien admitted under section 245A of IRCA to obtain copies of documents submitted by the alien in support of his or her application, including a copy of all or part of the affidavit of support. Therefore, SSA may request that the alien provide these and other documents in support of his or her immigration application to assist in applying for SSI. However, if the sponsor has restricted some information on the affidavit of support from being released to the alien, the alien will need the sponsor's cooperation to obtain that information. (See SI 01320.915D.)

B. Procedure — When not to verify sponsorship with Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Do not verify sponsorship with DHS when:

  • Sponsor-to-alien deeming cannot apply (see SI 01320.910).

  • The alien alleges (or you establish) that he or she is ineligible due to excess income or resources (including any income or resources deemed from the sponsor or another deemor), or failure to meet any other factor of eligibility. In these cases, deny the claim without verifying sponsorship.

  • The sponsor, as identified by the claimant, alleges (or you establish) income or resources of the sponsor that would make the alien ineligible. In this case, deny the claim without verifying sponsorship.

C. Procedure — verifying sponsorship with DHS — general

If an alien appears to be eligible for SSI based on the allegations of the alien and the alleged sponsor, verify sponsorship with the DHS. Verify sponsorship only at the time of initial application (or at the time of the preeffectuation contact in deferred development cases).

Because sponsorship is pertinent, verify the fact of sponsorship and sponsor identification information with DHS even if:

  • the sponsor is alleged to be deceased; or

  • the alleged sponsor is the parent or spouse from whom parent-to- child or spouse-to-spouse deeming applies; or

  • the alleged sponsor is the alien's spouse who is eligible for SSI.

Verify that the person alleged to be the sponsor actually is the sponsor and that there are no others.

D. Procedure—verifying sponsorship for certain IRCA aliens

Follow the special instructions below to verify sponsorship of aliens admitted as SAWs or under the legalization provisions of IRCA.

If the SAW/IRCA alien alleges that he or she is not sponsored, document the response and accept the allegation. (This is an exception to the procedure described in SI 01320.910D.8.)

If the SAW/IRCA alien alleges that he or she is sponsored or does not know if he or she has a sponsor, ask the alien to contact DHS directly and obtain a copy of Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support). Advise the alien that, if necessary, he or she must obtain the sponsor's cooperation to get a copy of the document. See SI 01320.920B.1. for instructions on how to proceed if the alien or sponsor does not cooperate.

If DHS advises that there is no sponsor, document the file with:

  • DHS' written statement to that effect (if one was provided to the alien); or

  • the alien's allegation that there is no sponsor if no written statement was given to the alien.

E. Procedure — alien alleges no sponsor

Verify sponsorship even if the alien alleges no sponsor (except in certain IRCA cases, per SI 01320.915D).

NOTE: This verification is necessary even if the alien offers a copy of his or her visa application as evidence.

F. Procedure — contacting Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

When verifying sponsorship with DHS, ask them to check their central case control.

Since individuals' records are sometimes interfiled with the records of family members, if you know that the claimant entered the U.S. with other family members, give this information to the DHS to assist them in their search.

See RM 10214.200 for addresses of DHS offices to contact for verification.

G. Procedure — acceptable proofs of sponsorship

1. Affidavit of support

Document the existence of an affidavit of support in one of the following ways:

  • a photocopy of the affidavit