Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1105.097.00 Appendix A – Verification of Immigration Status

IM-56 June 6, 2023; IM-23 April 18, 2011; IM-61 June 27, 2007; IM-56 April 18, 2003; IM-142 November 6, 1998

Household members applying for SNAP 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:

Lawful Permanent Residents:

  • 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 SNAP 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”

Non-citizen with Deportation or Removal Withheld:

  • 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”

Non-citizen Granted Parole for at least One Year:

  • 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.

Non-citizen Granted Conditional Entry:

  • 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”

Amerasian Non-citizen:

  • 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

Cubans and Haitians:

  • 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.

United States Non-citizen National:

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;
      • Note: Puerto Rican birth certificates issued prior to October 1, 2010 cannot be used to verify a household member’s identity. New birth certificates will be issued to those who apply for them after October 1, 2010.
    • Certificate of Birth (FS-545) or
    • Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350);
  • 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 SNAP 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 they do not owe allegiance to a foreign state or country.

Cross-Border Native American:
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 a non-citizen 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.

Hmong or Highland Laotian:
Contact SNAP Program and Policy for instructions on how to verify this immigration status.

Military Connection:
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.
      • 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 household sign an authorization to release the information and send it to the National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St Louis, MO 63138.
      • The National Personnel Record Center will send a copy of the DD-214 if a signed authorization is provided.
    • 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”).
  • 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 RAPID (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 Numbers: 800-336-4416 and 502-335-9980


  • 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.

Battered Non-citizens:

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

Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking:

  • 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 866-401-5510 to confirm the validity of the certification letter.

Unable to Provide Document:

For non-citizens who do not have the appropriate document, access the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (S.A.V.E.) database to obtain verification of immigration status. Review SNAP manual section 1105.010.12 Verifying Immigrant Status.