TN 1 (11-01)

VB 00205.155 Establishing Residence Outside the United States

A. Introduction

When a determination is made that an individual who is in the United States has met all the requirements for qualification for SVB, a written notice of this is sent to him or her. This notice also informs the individual that in order to become entitled to SVB, he or she must establish a residence outside the United States within 4 calendar months of the date of the notice of qualification. If residence outside the United States is not established within that time frame, the individual’s SVB claim will be denied.

The individual is instructed to contact the nearest Social Security office, U.S. Embassy or consulate or the Foreign Service Post (FSP) in Manila, and submit evidence of his or her foreign residence, when he or she establishes residence outside the United States.

B. Policy

To establish residence outside the United States, each qualified individual must submit the following:

  • Evidence of the date he or she arrived in/entered the foreign country (including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands);

  • His or her signed statement (on an SSA-795, Statement of Claimant or Other Person, or similar form) showing where he or she is residing and that he or she intends to make this his or her home; and

  • Evidence that he or she is actually living at the address shown in the signed statement.

Generally presence in a place for a period of at least 6 months will, with the above evidence, be sufficient to show an intent to establish and to maintain a home in that place. If the individual states, or the evidence shows, that he or she plans to be in that place for less than 6 months, SSA presumes that it is a temporary stay. To rebut this presumption, the individual must, in addition to the above evidence, submit convincing evidence that the stay is other than temporary or passing and that he or she does not have a residence elsewhere. See VB 00205.155C.2. for a discussion of such development.

C. Process

1. General

When the individual contacts the FO, FSP or U.S. Embassy or consulate, that office will assist him or her in making a statement as explained in VB 00205.155B, second bullet. It will make photocopies or certified extracts of the documentary evidence of his or her residence outside the United States.

If the individual's statement or other evidence indicates that his or her stay in that place will be for less than 6 months, the FO, FSP or U.S. Embassy or consulate reminds the individual that to receive SVB an individual must intend to reside outside the United States, not just visit, and that SSA presumes, absent convincing evidence to the contrary, that a stay of less that 6 months is temporary or passing. It undertakes development as explained in VB 00205.155C.2.

It will then forward this material to the FO that took the claim, or if the claim was not filed in an FO, the Palm Springs central processing site (CPS). See VB 00901.025 for a list of the CPSs.

2. Stay Will Be Less that 6 Months

Generally, there is no one piece of evidence that will establish that a stay of less than 6 months is not temporary or passing and that an individual does not have a residence elsewhere. However, if an individual enters the Philippines, for example. with a round-trip ticket back to the United States, this is a strong indication that he or she is just visiting and does not intend to establish and maintain a home in that country.

In most instances, a finding of residence outside the United States (as defined in VB 00205.150B) will be based on an examination of the evidence submitted and the individual's responses to questions including, but not limited to, the following.

  • Why he or she believes that he or she is a resident of that place;

  • The type of visa on which he or she entered that country if the individual is not a citizen of the country to which he or she moved;

  • The interviewer will document the file with a copy of the individual's passport pages that identify him or her and show the entry date and type of visa.

  • Why he or she is staying in that place for less than 6 months and where he or she plans to go when this stay is over;

  • What type of living arrangements he or she has made (e.g., rented a house. living with relatives, etc.) for the duration of his or her stay;

  • What social, cultural and other community activities he or she has joined since he or she came to this place;

  • How often he or she has visited this place in the previous 2 years, how long he or she stayed each time and how this stay differs from those stays;

  • A pattern of similar regular visits and stays indicates this stay may also be of a temporary nature;

  • Where he or she lived in the United States and what happened to that place/those arrangements when he or she left the United States (e.g., was the lease cancelled, is the apartment/room being held for his return, etc.);

    If the individual states that he or she gave up his or her apartment/room and will have to make other arrangements when he or she returns to the United States, the interviewer will ask him for evidence of this and document the file with either copies of that evidence or his or her statement that none exists. If there is no evidence of this, the FO/CPS may decide to verify this at the address of last residence if such evidence is needed to make a finding that foreign residence has or has not been established.

  • What happened to his or her belongings (i.e., furniture, clothing, etc);

  • Does he or she consider the United States to be his or her residence.

The FO, FSP or U.S. Embassy or consulate will secure the individual's signed statement showing this information. It will fax and then mail the claimant's statement and other evidence to the FO that took the claim, or if the claim was not filed in an FO, to the Palm Springs central processing site (CPS). See VB 00901.025 for a list of the CPSs.

D. Kinds of Evidence of Residence Outside the United States

Evidence submitted to establish the date the individual arrived in/entered the foreign country can include, but is not limited to:

  • Visa or passport showing date of entry into the foreign country;

  • Plane ticket showing date of entry into the foreign country;

  • Entry permit showing date of entry into the foreign country.

Evidence submitted to establish that the individual is actually living at the address shown in his or her signed statement can include, but is not limited to:

  • A lease agreement showing where the individual is living;

  • Rental or mortgage receipts;

  • Utility or other bills addressed to the individual in that country;

  • A signed statement from a local official or other person showing that he or she knows that the individual is living outside the United States, where the individual is living, when the individual began living there and how he or she knows this information;

  • A Standard Form-1199A, Direct Deposit Form, if a representative of the financial institution has completed Section 3 of the form and the address in Section 1.A. agrees with that furnished by the SVB claimant/beneficiary or his representative payee.

    Comment: U.S. Treasury Department regulations require the office of the financial institution to verify the information on the form before signing it.

E. Example

1. Residence Outside the United States Established

The claimant, who is receiving SSI benefits, files an application for SVB on June 5, 2001. It is determined that he meets all the requirements for qualification for SVB. The written notice of qualification is dated June 16, 2001. The notice also informs him that in order to become entitled to SVB, he must establish a residence outside the United States before November 1, 2001 or his claim for SVB will be denied.

On November 10, 2001, he visits the FSP in Manila and presents his passport showing that he entered the Philippines on October 23, 2001. He also submits a statement from the mayor of the small town in which he is living. The mayor states that because he sees the claimant every day, he knows that the claimant returned to that town late in October 2001 and since that time he has been living there with his wife in their family home. The mayor confirms the address furnished by the claimant. FSP assists the claimant in making a written statement showing where he is residing and that he intends to make this his home.

FSP faxes and then mails this material to the FO that took his claim. The FO then forwards it to the CPS. The CPS determines that the claimant is residing outside the United States and is entitled to SVB effective November 2001.

2. Stay Less Than 6 Months--Residence Outside the United States Not Established

Same as example 1, except that when the claimant visits FSP and presents his passport showing that he entered the Philippines on October 23, 2001, he states that he will be returning to the United States on March 15, 2002. The interview reveals that he visits his family in the Philippines every year about this time and stays for 3-4 months. The claimant has a lease on an apartment in the United States and will be returning to live in it in March.

FSP advises the claimant that in order to receive SVB an individual must be residing outside the United State and that SSA presumes, absent convincing evidence to the contrary, that a stay of less that 6 months is temporary or passing. The claimant states that he has no additional evidence to submit. FSP then obtains the claimant's signed statement setting forth the circumstances of his stay in the Philippines. It faxes and then mails this material to the FO that took his claim.

The FO determines that his stay in the Philippines is temporary and that he has not given up his residence in the United States. The claimant does not present any convincing evidence that his stay in the Philippines is other than temporary or passing. Thus, he is not residing outside the United States for SVB purposes and his claim for SVB is denied.

3. Stay Less Than 6 Months--Residence Outside the United States Established

Same as example 1, except that when the claimant visits FSP and presents his passport showing that he entered the Philippines on October 23, 2001, he states that he will be leaving the Philippines on March 15, 2002. The interview reveals that he is living with his daughter and son-in-law. His son-in-law works for a Philippine business that, in March, is sending him to work in France for a year. The claimant states that he has given up his apartment in Hawaii and submits receipts from a transport company showing that he has shipped his household goods from Hawaii to his daughter's home in the Philippines.

The FO determines that he is residing outside the United States. Although the claimant will be in the Philippines for only a short period, he has established an actual dwelling place in the Philippines (i.e., his daughter's household) with the intention of continuing to live with her outside the United States. The fact that this household will be in France for a time does not change that he will be residing outside the United States. He is entitled to SVB effective November 2001.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/1400205155
VB 00205.155 - Establishing Residence Outside the United States - 07/01/2014
Batch run: 07/01/2014
Rev:07/01/2014