All non-citizen applicants who declare they are qualified aliens must provide the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) documents to establish immigration status. You must give the alien a reasonable opportunity to provide the required documentation. If the alien does not provide the requested documentation within a reasonable time frame, you may deny eligibility. If the alien does provide the requested documentation within the time frame, verify the documentation with the BCIS using the SAVE System.
EXCEPTION: At this time, the BCIS SAVE system does not contain information about victims of severe forms of trafficking. Until further notice, do not contact SAVE concerning these individuals. See Trafficking Victims.
If an applicant presents an expired BCIS document or is unable to present any documentation of his or her immigration status, refer the person to the local BCIS District Office to obtain evidence of status unless he or she can provide you with an alien registration number. If the applicant provides an alien registration number, use the SAVE System to verify status. If the applicant presents a receipt indicating he or she has applied to BCIS for a replacement document, contact the BCIS to verify status by using the SAVE System. Contact the BCIS at any time if there is any reason to question the authenticity of a document presented or the information on the document is insufficient to determine whether the alien status requirement is met.
Refugees, Amerasians, asylees, Cuban/Haitian entrants, and deportees whose status is later changed to another status, including lawful permanent resident, remain eligible for Food Stamp benefits under the original status.
Acceptable documentation of qualified alien status is as follows:
- Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR):
- INS Form I-551 (USCIS Permanent Resident card, commonly referred to as the ‘green’ card), or
- A temporary I-551 stamp in a foreign passport or on Form I-94 for recent arrivals.
NOTE: USCIS Form I-551 will show the following status codes for those LPR’s who previously held one of the statuses noted above:
- RE6, RE7, RE8, or RE9 – former refugee; use ‘Resident Since’ date as date of entry to U.S.
- AM1, AM2, AM3, AM6, AM7, AM8 – LPR admitted as Amerasian; use ‘Resident Since’ date as date of entry to U.S.
- AS6, AS7 or AS8 – former asylee; will need other documentation showing date asylum was granted, if required for program.
- CU6, CH6, HA6, HB6 – former statuses eligible under Cuban/Haitian Entrant; will need other documentation showing date Cuban/Haitian Entrant was granted, if required for program.
- GA6, GA7 or GA8 – former Iraqi asylee processed in Guam; will need other documentation showing date asylum was granted, if required for program.
- SI1, SI2, SI3, SI6, S17, SI9, SQ1, SQ2, SQ3, SQ6, SQ7, or SQ9 – LPR admitted as special immigrant of Iraqi or Afghan nationality.
- Refugees: NOTE: Newly arriving refugees (as of 8/7/15) are required to provide the Department of Homeland Security electronic I-94 form and the Transportation Boarding letter with a date stamp showing entry as a refugee.
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) electronic I-94 that can be obtained by the participant at www.cbp.gov/I94, and
- U.S Department of State’s Transportation Boarding Letter with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) date stamp showing entry as a refugee,
- A paper USCIS Form I-94 for refugees arriving to the U.S. prior to the use of the electronic format, indicating the person has been admitted as a refugee under section 207.
- DHS Form I-688B (Employment Authorization Document no longer valid after April 2009) annotated “274a.12 (a) (3)”,
- USCIS I-766 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) annotated “A3” in the Category Field, or
- USCIS Refugee Travel Document I-571.
NOTE: Refugees usually adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident status after 12 months in the U.S., but for purposes of establishing eligibility are still considered refugees. Therefore, check the coding on Form I-551 for codes RE-6, RE-7, RE-8, or RE-9.
- INS Form I-94 annotated with stamp showing grant of asylum under 208 of the INA,
- Grant letter from the Asylum Office of the BCIS,
- INS Form I-688B annotated “274a.12(a)(5)”, or
- INS Form I-766 annotated “5”.
- Alien 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,
- INS Form I-688B annotated “274a.12(a)(10)”, or
- INS Form I-766 annotated “A10”.
- Alien Granted Parole for at Least One Year:
- INS 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.
- Alien Granted Conditional Entry:
- INS Form I-94 with stamp showing admission under 203(a)(7) of the INA, refugee-conditional entry,
- INS Form I-688B annotated “274a.12 (a)(3)”, or
- INS Form I-766 annotated “A3”.
- Cuban and Haitians: Cuban and Haitian Entrants are defined in Title V of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 as follows:
- Any individual granted parole status as a Cuban/Haitian Entrant (status pending) or granted any other special status subsequently established under the immigration laws for nationals of Cuba or Haiti, regardless of the status of the individual at the time assistance or services are provided; and
- Any other national of Cuba or Haiti
- Was paroled into the U.S. and has not acquired any other status under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);
- Is the subject of exclusion or deportation proceedings under the INA; or
- Has an application for asylum pending with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now known as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services – USCIS); and
- With respect to whom a final, non-appealable, and legally enforceable order of deportation or exclusion has not been entered.
The Act has been amended to include those defined as Haitian Family Parole Reunification Parolee (HFRP).
- USCIS Form I-94 with a stamp showing parole into the U.S., on or after April 21, 1980; or a stamp showing parole at any time as a “Cuban/Haitian Entrant (status pending)”; or a Cuban or Haitian passport with a 212(d)(5) stamp dated after October 10, 1980. NOTE: The stamp may also include variations of the following (usually handwritten) notations, and may also be stamped in an individual’s passport:
- Public interest or Lottery
- To file I-589
- Pending final asylum hearing
- Exclusion proceeding
- Pending removal hearing
- CM or CMPP – Cuban parolee processed under medical professional program
- CP – Cuban Parolee processed under special migration program
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-221; or DHS Form I-862; or DHS Form I-220A; or DHS I-122; or DHS Form I-221S; or Copy of DHS Form I-589 date stamped by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR); or Copy of DHS Form I-485 date stamped by EOIR; or EOIR-26; or other applications for relief that have been date stamped by EOIR; or other documentation pertaining to an applicant’s removal, exclusion or deportation proceedings,
- USCIS Form I-551 with the code CU6, CH6, HA6, or HB6,
- USCIS Form I-766 with an eligible status code C08, C10 or C11, or
- DHS receipt for filing Form I-589; or I-688B Employment Authorization Document with the provision of law 274a.12(c)(8).
- HFRP documentation:
- U.S. Visa (with the subheading “Not a Visa” and annotation of “Special Parole for noncurrent Haitian IV Beneficiaries” and the assigned Alien number.
- Form I-94 stamped “Parole” with the written code of HF/HPI.