Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Citizenship and Alien Status




Table of Contents


Documentary evidence and the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) must be used to verify an alien’s status.


Documentary Evidence:


·        Immigration and Naturalization (INS) Form I-151 or I-551 (Alien Registration Receipt Card) or the Re-entry permit (a passport booklet for lawful permanent resident aliens).


·        INS Form I-94, “Arrival Departure Record”, which will be acceptable only if annotated with:


-         Section 207, 208, 212 (d)(5), or Section 243 (h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

-         An (S) indicating Haitian Nationals.

-         One or a combination of the following terms:


o   Refugee;


Note:  Soviet Jewish refugees will possess Arrival-Departure Records (I-94) which contain the following statement:  “This refugee is sponsored by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and (name of local Jewish organization.  Private resources are available. If public assistance is sought, please call (name of local agency) at (phone number).”


o   Parolee or paroled;

o   Conditional Entry or Entrant, or

o   Asylum


Note:  If an INS Form I-94 is annotated with the letters (A) through (L), this verification that the alien does not meet citizenship requirements for FS/FF purposes and is ineligible for benefits.  If, however, the alien can present other documentation from INS that he does meet requirements, this will be acceptable.


·        Passports stamped with the annotation “Processed for I-551” will be acceptable verification of eligible alien status.


·          A U.S. Passport Card issued by the Department of Homeland Security, which is an alternative to a traditional passport book.  The passport card is acceptable documentation for verifying the U.S. citizenship and identity of the bearer, but it may not be used for international air travel. Bulletin 38, FA-08-30


·        Iranian Nationals were granted “Voluntary Departure” status until September 1, 1979.  After that date, INS will decide on individual claims of persecution based on race, religion, or political opinion.  Unless an Iranian has documentation supporting the eligible alien status, he/she is not eligible for Families First.


·        Temporary Resident Card, Form I-668, means that an amnesty alien has been approved for temporary residence.  If the form is coded to show that the alien was admitted under Section 245A, the alien is not eligible.  If the form is coded to show the alien was admitted under Section 210, the alien is eligible until the expiration date stated on the face of the document.


·         Forms such as I-688A, Employment Authorization Card, or Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and I-689 shows that an alien has applied for admission.  They are not acceptable documents to show that a person has been admitted under an eligible section.  In addition, Form I-181-B cannot be used as acceptable verification.


·        If the INS Form I-94 does not bear any of the above annotations, the alien may state the reason and submit other conclusive verification, such as a notice, letter, or identification card that establishes that the alien has been admitted for permanent residence as a legal alien.


·        Other evidence of eligible status includes:


-         Verification of the alien’s classification under Section 101 (a)(15), 101 (a)(20), 207, 208, 212 (d)(5), 243, 249, of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

-         Form G-641 (Application for Verification of Information from Immigration and Naturalization Service Records) when it is properly annotated at the bottom by INS representative that the alien was admitted lawfully for permanent resident status or paroled for humanitarian reasons.


·        A court order stating that deportation has been withheld pursuant to Section 243 (h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.


·        The alien may contact INS or otherwise obtain the necessary verification.  If the household does not wish to contact INS, give the household the option of withdrawing the application or participating without the ineligible alien.


·        If an alien is unable to provide an INS document that will verify alien status (not even an INS Form 1-94), the worker has no responsibility to contact INS on the alien’s behalf.  When a person indicates inability or unwillingness to provide documentation of alien status, that person should be classified as an ineligible alien status.


Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) System:


·        The SAVE system is the process of verifying an alien’s immigration status by validating the alien’s INS documents through the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).


·        Do not deny or reduce benefits pending verification of an alien’s documentary evidence through SAVE.


·        Use one of the following SAVE verification procedures to establish an alien’s status:


-         Use telephone interaction between DHS and INS using the INS’ Alien Systematic Verification Index (ASVI) data base as the primary verification method.

-         Counties with touch-tone telephones have direct access to the ASVI data base.  These counties will have a unique four-digit identification number.


·        Only those persons designated by District Family Assistance Directors are permitted to access the ASVI data base.


·        Use the following steps to access the ASVI data base:


-         Dial the toll free system access number: 1-800-365-7620

-         Listen for the following message:

-         “Welcome to the INS ASVI System....(various messages).  Please enter your authorization code followed by the pound sign”

-         Enter the Authorization Code:  *42*91*81*62----#

-         Listen for the following message:


Enter the A-Number.  Substitute a leading zero (0) or zero, if appropriate, for the leading “A”.  A total of nine (9) digits must be entered to satisfy the Alien Registration Number response.


Example:  An A-Number having 9 numeric digits will be entered as follows:


A123 456 789 = 123 456 789

An A-Number having 8 numeric digits will be entered as follows:  A12345 678 = 012 345 678

An A-Number having 7 numeric digits will be entered as follows: A1 234 567 = 001 234 567


-       Listen for further prompting from the “voice” to complete the verification process.


·        Secondary Verification


-       INS Form G-845 is secondary method for verifying an alien’s immigration status.

-       Use INS Form G-845 in the following situations:


§  The State Agency is unable to access the ASVI data base.

§  The alien is in a category which is not recorded in the INS computerized file.

§  A determination is made that the documentation presented by the alien is questionable.

§  A material discrepancy in the records requires resolution, when no record on the ASVI data base is found for the alien applicant.

§  Non-INS documents are accepted as reasonable evidence of the alien’s immigration status.

§  The alien’s documented status cannot be validated after accessing the ASVI.


·        Secondary Verification Procedures


-       Complete INS Form G-845 for each applicant who is not a U.S. citizen.

-       Copy the verification used to establish satisfactory immigration status.

-       Attach a copy of the verifications to the Form G-845.  (USCIS requests that we staple the verifications to Form G-845 in the upper left-hand corner using only one staple).

-       Submit the verification and Form G-845 to USCIS at the address below:


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

10 Fountain Plaza, 3rd Floor

Buffalo, NY 14202-2200

Attn:  Immigration Status Verification Unit  Bulletin 41, FA-09-20


-       Review returned Form G-845 to ensure that legal alien status is validated and document CLRC.



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