Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1105.097.00 Appendix A – Verification of Immigration Status

IM-23 April 18, 2011; IM-61 June 27, 2007; IM-56 April 18, 2003; IM-142 November 6, 1998

EU members applying for Food Stamp benefits are required to provide their USCIS documentation as a condition of eligibility. FSD is then required to verify the validity of those documents through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE).

Acceptable forms of documentation of qualified and eligible immigrant status are:


  • USCIS Form I-551
  • A temporary I-551 stamp in a foreign passport or on Form I-94 for recent arrivals


  • USCIS Form I-94 annotated with stamp showing entry as refugee under 207 of the INA and date of entry to U.S.
  • USCIS Form I-688B annotated “274a.12(a)(3)”
  • I-766 annotated “A3”
  • I-571

NOTE: Refugees usually adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident status after 12 months in the U.S., but for Food Stamp eligibility purposes they are still considered refugees. Therefore, check the coding on Form I-551 for codes RE-6, RE-7, RE-8 or RE-9.


  • USCIS Form I-94 annotated with stamp showing grant of asylum under 208 of the INA
  • Grant letter from the Asylum Office of the USCIS
  • USCIS Form I-688B annotated “274a.12(a)(10)”
  • USCIS Form I-766 annotated “A5”


  • Order of an Immigration Judge showing deportation withheld under 243(h) or 241(b)(3) of the INA and date of the grant
  • USCIS Form I-688B annotated “274a.12(a)(10)”
  • USCIS Form I-766 annotated “A10”


  • USCIS Form I-94 annotated with stamp showing grant of parole under 212(d)(5) of the INA and a date showing granting of parole for at least one year.


  • USCIS Form I-94 with stamp showing admission under 203(a)(7) of the INA, refugee-conditional entry
  • USCIS Form I-688B annotated “274a.12(a)(3)”
  • USCIS Form I-766 annotated “A3”


  • USCIS Form I-551 (Alien Registration Receipt Card, commonly referred to as a “green card”) with code AM6, AM7 or AM8
  • Unexpired temporary I-551 stamp in foreign passport or on USCIS Form I-94 with the Code AM1, AM2 or AM3


  • USCIS Form I-551 with the code CU6, CU7, or CH6; or
  • Unexpired temporary I-551 stamp in foreign passport or an USCIS Form I-94 with the code CU6 or CU7; or
  • USCIS Form I-94 with the stamp showing paroles as “Cuban/Haitian Entrant” under Section 212(d)(5) of the INA.


Primary evidence includes:

  • Evidence of birth such as birth certificate showing birth in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or the Northern Mariana Islands; Certificate of Birth (FS-545) or Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350); NOTE: Puerto Rican birth certificates issued prior to October 1, 2010 cannot be used to verify an EU member’s identity.  New birth certificates will be issued to those who apply for them after October 1, 2010.
  • Form N-550 or N-570, Certificate of Naturalization;
  • Form N-560 or N-561, Certificate of Citizenship issued by USCIS to individuals who derive U.S. Citizenship through a parent;
  • Form I-873 (or prior versions, Northern Marianas Card issued by USCIS to a collectively naturalized U.S. Citizen who was born in the North Marianas Islands before November 3, 1986.

Secondary evidence includes:

  • Religious records, recorded in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or the Northern Marianas Islands showing the birth occurred in the jurisdiction or either the date of birth or the age at the time the record was made.
  • Evidence of Civil Service employment by the U.S. government before June 1, 1976.
  • Early school records (preferably from the first school) showing the date of admission to the school, the applicant’s date and place of birth, and the name applicant’s parents.
  • Census records showing name, U.S. Nationality or a U.S. place of birth and the applicant’s date of birth or age.
  • Adoption finalization papers showing the applicant’s name and place of birth in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or the Northern Marianas Islands or from a jurisdiction approved adoption agency showing the applicant’s name and place of birth in one of the jurisdictions.
  • Any other document that establishes a U.S. place of birth or otherwise indicates U.S. nationality.

Contact Food Stamp Program and Policy for additional sources of primary or secondary verification of U.S. nationality. In addition to the primary and secondary evidence, the applicant must state that he/she does not owe allegiance to a foreign state or country.


Acceptable verifications that a Native American was born in Canada are:

  • Birth or baptismal certificate issued on a reservation;
  • Tribal records certifying at least 50% Indian blood, membership card, or other tribal document establishing membership in an Indian tribe;
  • Letter from the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs; or
  • School records.

A cross-border Native American may have USCIS documentation establishing LPR status.

NOTE: This does not include a spouse or child of such Native American nor an immigrant whose membership in a Native American tribe or family is created by adoption unless such person is of at least fifty percent (50%) or more Native American blood.


Contact Food Stamp Program and Policy for instructions on how to verify this immigration status.


Acceptable verifications of an immigrant’s military connection follow.

  • Honorably Discharged Veterans: Use an original or notarized copy of the individual’s discharge certificate (DD Form 214) that shows active duty of at least two years in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp, or Coast Guard. Contact the Veteran’s Administration (VA) regional office for determination of veteran status if a discharge certificate shows any other branch of service (Reserves or National Guard) or any other type of duty (e.g., “Active Duty for Training” or “Inactive Duty for Training”).

    Character of discharge is noted on the DD-214. A DD-214 that shows character of discharge as anything other than “Honorable” is not eligible for this status. A character of discharge “Under Honorable Conditions” is NOT an honorable discharge for these purposes.

    If the applicant cannot provide the DD-214, have the EU sign an authorization to release the information and send it to the Military Personnel Record Center, 9700 Page, St. Louis, MO 63132.  The Military Personnel Record Center will send a copy of the DD-214 if a signed authorization is provided.

  • Full-time Active Duty: For an individual in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corp or Coast Guard, view a current military ID card (DD Form 2 (Active)) that lists an expiration date of more than one year from the date of issue. This does not include full-time National Guard duty. If the card will expire within one year, use a copy of the individual’s military order to document active duty status.

    For an individual in the Reserves, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard view a current DD Form 2 (Reserve) (red) and military active duty order showing the individual is on active duty, but NOT active duty for training. No other method for verifying this status is available.

    If the individual is unable to furnish either of the above, active duty may be verified through the nearest RAPD (Real Time Automated Personnel Identification System) located at many military installations or by notifying the following office in writing (you may transmit this notice by facsimile):

    DEERS Support Office
    ATTN: Research and Analysis
    400 Gigling Road
    Seaside, California 93944-6771
    FAX Number: (408)655-8317

  • Spouse, Child or Unmarried Surviving Spouse of a Veteran or Active Duty Armed Forces Member: View the individual’s current military ID card. The card will show:
    • that the individual is married to a veteran or active duty member,
    • that a child is dependent on the veteran or active duty member of the Armed Forces for his/her support and is under the age of eighteen (18) or, if a full-time student, under age twenty-two (22).

    If the military ID card is unavailable or further documentation is needed, refer the individual to the VA regional office.


  • I-130 visa petition; or
  • Approved self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act


Certification letters for adults and eligibility letters for children show an entry date (date of certification). The original certification letters showed an eight month expiration date. Certification and recertification letters for adults and eligibility letters for children issued after November 6, 2001 do not contain an expiration date. The recertification letters contain a lowercase “r” beside the Health and Human Services (HHS) tracking number.

If an individual presents a certification letter when applying for benefits or if the worker attempts to do an eligibility redetermination, call the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) trafficking verification line at 202-401-5510 to confirm the validity of the certification letter.


Complete USCIS Form G-845 and Supplement to obtain verification of immigration status if the immigrant does not have the appropriate document.