In 1983 the Social Security Act was amended (P.L. 98-21) section 340 to include an
additional provision regarding the payment of Social Security benefits to aliens outside
the U.S. Section 202(t)(11) of the Social Security Act requires that certain non-U.S.
citizen dependent and survivor beneficiaries who are first eligible for Social Security
Benefits after December 1984, must have resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years as
the spouse, widow/widower, child, or parent of the NH, in order to receive U.S. benefits
while outside the U.S.. See RS 02610.030 - 5 Year Residency Requirements for Spouses, Natural Child, Adopted Child, and a
Beginning in January 1985, the alien nonpayment provision requires that certain alien
beneficiaries entitled to dependent or survivor benefits must meet a U.S. residency
requirement in addition to meeting exceptions:
Code 3 – Number Holder (NH) has 10 years residence;
Code 4 – NH has 40 Quarters of Coverage (QC’s);
Code 6 – Citizen of a Social Insurance Country
Code 7 – Railroad Service
Code 9 – Beneficiary in Military Service
These exceptions have two-tiers and both tiers must be met. For the first tier the
alien must meet an alien exception code. For the second tier, the alien’s dependents
or survivors must meet the 5 year residency requirement.
This requirement precludes paying benefits to dependents and survivors outside the
Dependents or survivors have resided in the U.S. for a period of at least 5 years
during which time the relationship with the NH as a spouse, widow/widower, child or
parent has existed.
The beneficiaries are children who cannot satisfy the requirement on their own but
are deemed to meet it if both parents meet it, See (RS 02610.020) - Establishing Absence and Presence in the United States (U.S.) and (RS 02610.035A.) - Determining the Other Parent.
A dependent/survivor who is a citizen of a social insurance country must also meet the 5 year residency requirement.
A dependent/survivor who is entitled on the earnings record of a NH who has 40 QCs
must also meet the 5 year residency requirement.