SI 01320.925 Verification with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) After Adjudication — Operating Procedures

A. When the Field Office (FO) May Verify With the DHS After Adjudication

Generally, the FO must complete verification with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) before adjudication of a claim. There are two situations when the FO may verify information with DHS after adjudication. They are:

  • when an alien is a recent entrant to the U.S., and

  • when DHS states that its file is otherwise unavailable.

In either situation, complete DHS verification postadjudicatively and develop sponsor-to-alien deeming under the following instructions.

1. Recent entrant

A recent entrant is an alien who has been in the U.S. 12 full calendar months or less. For example, consider an alien who actually enters the U.S. on December 16, 1988, to be a recent entrant through December 1989. DHS files for aliens who recently have arrived in the U.S. frequently are in transit as part of DHS processing and are unavailable for review for up to 12 months.

When an alien has been in the U.S. 6 full calendar months or less, assume the DHS file is unavailable for review, and contact DHS postadjudicatively. You may extend this assumption to aliens who have been in the U.S. from 7 to 12 full calendar months, based on the servicing DHS office's experience in receiving files for recent entrants. For example, if the DHS office states that it routinely takes 9 months to obtain a folder, contact DHS postadjudicatively for all entrants who have been in the U.S. 8 months or less. Place in file the justification for deferring contact beyond 6 months (e.g., a precedent established by the FO parallel to the DHS office).

Whenever using the assumption that the DHS file is unavailable, diary the case for the postadjudicative contact with DHS. However, develop sponsorship and the sponsor's income and resources before adjudication of the claim (per GN 00502.160B.).

NOTE: If you learn that an DHS office routinely is able to review files of recent entrants within 6 months, ignore the assumption regarding the availability of DHS files and contact DHS before adjudication of the claim. NOTE:

2. DHS states file is unavailable

Whenever DHS states that its file is unavailable for review, complete DHS verification postadjudicatively. Consider an DHS file unavailable for review if DHS will be unable to provide information from the file within 6 weeks of the date of initial request. Document the contact with DHS; diary the case for a postadjudicative followup using DHS' estimate of when the file will be available, and develop per SI 00502.160B.

If DHS states that a file is lost, proceed with the development in GN 00502.160B. and do not recontact DHS. (Of course, if DHS states that a file is “lost” but that there is a possibility it may retrieve the file at some later date, at your discretion, diary the case for postadjudicative contact.)

B. Postadjudicative DHS Verification

How to adjudicate a claim when postadjudicative DHS verification is permitted depends on the alien's allegation of sponsorship. Follow the development described below. If based on this development the claim is denied, do not proceed with postadjudicative DHS verification. Advise the alien that information from his DHS file must be made available to SSA before SSA can reevaluate his eligibility under the rules of administrative finality.

Also, advise the alien that it is his responsibility to make this DHS information available to SSA. (An alien has the right to request a reconsideration of the initial determination to deny eligibility).

After the development below is completed, diary the case for postadjudicative contact with DHS according to GN 00502.160A.1. or GN 00502.1602.

1. Sponsorship alleged

If an alien alleges sponsorship, develop in accordance with SI 01320.915 and SI 01320.920, but defer verification with DHS.

2. Offer of employment alleged

If an alien alleges that he was granted permanent resident status because an employer provided a guarantee of employment upon entry, document the alien's allegation either on a signed statement or recorded on a DROC. Contact the employer to verify that an offer