TN 1 (11-09)

RM 10210.500 General Information on Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a Social Security Number (SSN) Card

This table organizes the information about U.S. citizenship evidence.

Topic

Reference

Who must submit evidence of U.S. citizenship

RM 10210.500A

General Information about Aliens, U.S. Nationals, U.S. Citizens, and Dual Citizenship

RM 10210.500B

Acceptable Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for an SSN Card

RM 10210.500C

Primary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

RM 10210.505

Secondary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a U.S. Born Applicant

RM 10210.510

Secondary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a Foreign Born Applicant

RM 10210.515

Third Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a U.S. Born Applicant

RM 10210.520

Fourth Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a U.S. Born Applicant

RM 10210.525

Secondary Level Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a Foreign Born U.S. Adopted Applicant

RM 10210.530

Assisting an Applicant who has No Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

RM 10210.535

General Information for Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a Foreign Born Adopted Child

RM 10210.540

A. Who must submit evidence of U.S. citizenship

1. Citizenship evidence for an original SSN

An applicant for an original SSN who alleges U.S. citizenship must submit evidence of U.S. citizenship.

2. Citizenship evidence for a new SSN

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 10210.010.

3. Citizenship evidence for a replacement SSN card

a. Numident confirms U.S. citizenship

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”.

For information on the parts of the basic Numident, see RM 10235.005.

b. Numident does not confirm U.S. citizenship

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.

B. General information about aliens, U.S. nationals, U.S. citizens, and dual citizenship

1. Aliens

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.

2. U.S. national

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.

3. U.S. citizen

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 00303.300I.

4. Dual citizen

A dual citizen is an individual who has citizenship in more than one country. For more information on dual citizenship, see RS 02640.030.

C. Acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship for an SSN card

Citations: Social Security Act Section 205(a) and 20 CFR 422.107(d)

1. Accepting citizenship evidence based on probative value

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

Reference

Primary level evidence of U.S. citizenship

RM 10210.505

Secondary level evidence of U.S. citizenship for a

  • U.S. born applicant

  • foreign born applicant

  • foreign born U.S. adopted applicant

RM 10210.510

or

RM 10210.515

or

RM 10210.530

Third level evidence of U.S. citizenship for a U.S. born applicant

RM 10210.520

Fourth level evidence of U.S. citizenship for a U.S. born applicant

RM 10210.525

2. FO responsibilities for obtaining evidence with probative value

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 10213.001.

a. U.S. born citizen

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 10210.535.

IMPORTANT: Not all people born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens, see RM 10210.500B.1 above and RM 10210.500B.1.

b. Foreign born citizen

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 10210.535.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110210500
RM 10210.500 - General Information on Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a Social Security Number (SSN) Card - 10/14/2011
Batch run: 10/14/2011
Rev:10/14/2011