PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEMPart RM – Records MaintenanceChapter 102 – The Social Security Number, Policy and General ProceduresSubchapter 10 – SSN Evidence RequirementsTransmittal No. 28, 07/31/2019
This is a Quick Action Transmittal (QAT). These revisions do not change or introduce new policy or procedure.
Summary of Changes
RM 10210.500 General Information on Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a Social Security Number (SSN) Card
Subsection A.3.a. - We added a 3rd bullet to provide clarification per an RO request.
This table organizes the information about U.S. citizenship evidence.
Who must submit evidence of U.S. citizenship
General Information about Aliens, U.S. Nationals, U.S. Citizens, and Dual Citizenship
Acceptable Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for an SSN Card
Primary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
Secondary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a U.S. Born Applicant
Secondary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a Foreign Born Applicant
Third Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a U.S. Born Applicant
Fourth Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a U.S. Born Applicant
Secondary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a Foreign Born U.S. Adopted Applicant
Assisting an Applicant who has No Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
General Information for Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a Foreign Born Adopted Child
An applicant for an original SSN who alleges U.S. citizenship must submit evidence of U.S. citizenship.
An applicant for a new SSN must submit the actual document that established U.S. citizenship. For more information on the evidence required for a new SSN, see RM
An applicant for a replacement SSN card does not need to submit evidence of citizenship when the applicant alleges U.S. citizenship and the Numident information used by the Enumeration System, SSNAP, shows either:
A U.S. place of birth (POB) and a CSP (citizenship code) that is blank or
A foreign POB and a CSP of “A”.
A U.S. place of birth and a CSP of "A"
For information on the parts of the basic Numident, see RM 10235.005.
If the Numident information used by the Enumeration System, SSNAP, does not confirm U.S. citizenship, then the applicant must submit evidence of U.S. citizenship. It does not matter if the applicant alleges U.S.-birth or foreign-birth.
An alien is an individual who is not a citizen or a national of the U.S.
IMPORTANT: Not all people born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens. Children born in the U.S. to foreign sovereigns or diplomatic officers listed on the State
Department Diplomatic List are NOT U.S. citizens. For additional information, see RM 10211.001B.3.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act INA , a U.S. national is an individual who owes permanent allegiance to the U.S.
U.S. nationals include
All U.S. citizens.
Certain citizens of the American Samoa (includes Swains Islands).
Individuals born abroad to two American U.S. national parents, or individuals born abroad to one alien parent and one U.S. national parent. NOTE: There is a residency requirement placed upon the parents of the child prior to birth in order to transmit U.S. nationality.
Certain citizens of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
According to the INA , a U.S. citizen is a native-born, foreign-born, or naturalized person who owes allegiance to the U.S. and who is entitled to its protection. In addition to the naturalization process, the U.S. recognizes the U.S. citizenship of individuals according to two fundamental principles: jus soli, or right of birthplace, and jus sanguinis, or right of blood (deriving citizenship through parent’s citizenship).
IMPORTANT: Not all people born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens , see RM
10210.500B.1 above and RM 10211.001B.3.
Individuals can become U.S. citizens by various means, including
Naturalization - The process by which individuals become citizens after birth.
Collective naturalization - The process by which individuals become citizens by an Act of Congress or Presidential Proclamation without individual petition.
Derivative citizenship - The process by which individuals become citizens if they are born abroad to a U.S. citizen and meet certain, other, requirements. For more information on derivative citizenship, see GN
A dual citizen is an individual who has citizenship in more than one country. For more information on dual citizenship, see GN 00303.100B.3.
Citations: Social Security Act Section 205(a) and 20 CFR 422.107(d)
The following chart lists the documents we accept by probative value. “Probative value” is the weight given to a particular piece of evidence.
Acceptable Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
Primary level evidence of U.S. citizenship
Secondary level evidence of U.S. citizenship for a
U.S. born applicant
foreign born applicant
foreign born U.S. adopted applicant
Third level evidence of U.S. citizenship for a U.S. born applicant
Fourth level evidence of U.S. citizenship for a U.S. born applicant
The FO must review and, when required, verify the document. For information on reviewing and verifying DHS evidence, see RM 10210.210, RM 10210.560 and RM
10213.095. For information on reviewing and verifying non-DHS evidence, see RM
If a U.S. born applicant does not present one of the documents listed as primary level evidence and none is readily available, develop for the other levels of evidence in their probative value order. Attempt to obtain evidence of the highest probative value. “Readily available” means the evidence exists and can be obtained in 10 working days.
For situations where the applicant does not present primary, secondary, third, or fourth level evidence and none is readily available, see RM
IMPORTANT: Not all people born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens , see RM 10210.500B.1 above and RM 10210.500B.1.
If a foreign-born applicant does not present one of the documents listed as primary level evidence, second level evidence may apply, see RM 10210.515. If the applicant has no primary or secondary level evidence, see RM