Department of Human Services

Food Stamp OnlinePolicy Manual

Citizenship and Alien Status Requirement





Food Stamp Table of Contents


Verification of alien status must be presented by the applicant prior to approval or recertification.†† When the county office determines that a member of a household requesting Food Stamp benefits is in this country illegally, the Department will report that information to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. (Refer to Section 1240-1-3-.13 for information on referral of illegal aliens to BCIS).


If an alien is unable to provide a BCIS document that will verify alien status, the caseworker has no responsibility to contact BCIS on the alienís behalf. When a person indicates inability or unwillingness to provide documentation of alien status, that person should be classified as an ineligible alien. The caseworkerís responsibility exists only when the alien has a BCIS document that does not clearly indicate eligible or ineligible status.


1.      Systematic Alien Verification For Entitlement (SAVE) System Procedures


Verify immigration status via the web-based SAVE System. The SAVE System is the process of verifying an alienís immigration status by validating the alienís USCIS documents through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.


2.      Documentary Evidence


Documentary evidence should be used whenever possible. The USCIS has several types of documents that an alien might have to verify his/her status. Some of these documents are:


a.      Form I-151 or I-551 -- Alien Registration or a Re-entry Permit;


b.      Form I-94 -- Arrival/Departure Record. This record should be annotated with the specific term such as refugee, asylum or paroled;


c.       Passport booklets sometimes are stamped with the annotation ďProcessed for I-551, Temporary Evidence of Lawful Admission for Permanent ResidenceĒ;


d.      Form I-688 -- Temporary Resident Card means that amnesty has been approved for temporary residence. This would probably show section 210;


Forms I-688A (Employment Authorization Card) and I-689 show that an alien has applied for admission. They are not acceptable documents. Also I-181B is not acceptable.


e.      Form G-641 -- Application for Verification of Information from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This form may be used when properly annotated at the bottom by a USCIS representative that the alien was admitted lawfully for permanent residence or paroled for humanitarian reasons.


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


g.      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 citizenship and identity of the bearer.


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


3.      Written Correspondence to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)


Form G-845S is used to contact the BICS office when doing so in writing. This should be done when the county is unable to contact them through SAVE, the alien is in a category that is not recorded in the SAVE file, documentation is questionable, a discrepancy exists, or the alienís documented status cannot be validated any other way.


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

b.      Copy the verification used to establish satisfactory immigration status.

c.       Attach a copy of the verification to the form by stapling in the upper left-hand corner using only one staple.

d.      Submit the verification and form to USCIS at the address below:


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

10 Fountain Plaza, 3rd Floor

Buffalo, N.Y. 14202-2200

Attn: Immigration Status Verification Unit †††


e.      Review returned form and information to ensure that the correct status exists for eligibility and take the appropriate action.

4.      Information on Homeland Security


The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has a website at and their national toll free number is 1-800-375-5283.


Forms such as the SAVE form and instructions may be found on the website at on the Immigration Forms subtitle which will give you a list of all INS forms.


The office in Memphis should be contacted for all other matters.


Department of Homeland Security


Attention: Immigration Status Verifier

842 Virginia Run Cove

Memphis, TN 38122

Phone: (901) 333-1502 (not a public number)

Glossary of Terms

Food Stamp Table of Contents