Most immigrants who have entered the United States legally are in possession of documents issued by USCIS which contain information about immigration status and the date that individual entered the country or adjusted to the status shown on the card.
It is the responsibility of the applicant/EU to provide the documents. If an immigrant does not want FSD to contact USCIS to verify his or her status, FSD must give the EU the option of withdrawing its application or participating without that EU member.
FSD is required to verify immigrant status of individuals who are applying for food stamp benefits and to verify the validity of the documents provided by the EU.
EXCEPTIONS: The following statuses do not require additional verification through SAVE:
Verify the status according to the policy listed in each section.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide USCIS documents for verification of immigrant status. Until the acceptable verification is provided, an immigrant is ineligible for food stamp benefits. When the immigrant has provided a copy of a document and FSD submits the documentation to USCIS for verification, FSD cannot deny, delay, reduce, or terminate the individual eligible for food stamp benefits due to immigrant status.
FAMIS allows immigrant applicants at least 10 days to supply verification, up to the 30th day following (if an initial or nontimely application) or until the last day of the certification (for timely reapplications. If there are additional EU members who are eligible for food stamp benefits, the application will be approved for the remaining members the night of the 30th day if the verification is not provided for one of the EU members. If there are not additional EU members or the EU is not eligible without the EU member for whom the verification is needed, the application is rejected the night of the 30th day following application (for initial or nontimely applications) or the night of the last day of the certification.
Enter the individual's income, resources, and expenses on the appropriate screens in FAMIS. FAMIS counts his/her resources as available to the remaining EU members and counts his/her income and expenses less his/her pro rata share.
If proper documentation is subsequently received, process as a reported change in EU membership.
If an applicant claims to be a US National or has become a US citizen, but cannot provide acceptable verification and has a reasonable explanation for the lack of verification, FSD must accept a signed statement under penalty of perjury from a third party indicating a reasonable basis for personal knowledge that the individual in question is a US National.
If immigrant status cannot be determined from the USCIS document presented and the immigrant has no other acceptable documentation of immigrant status, advise the immigrant that:
Enter the NOD (no documentation) status and CS (client statement) on the Non-Citizen Information (FMML) screen. Record a comment regarding the lack of documentation.
If non-USCIS documentation is accepted as reasonable evidence of immigration status, photocopy the evidence and transmit it to USCIS for verification using the SAVE secondary verification procedures.
Pending results from the secondary verification process, do not delay, deny, reduce, or terminate the individual's eligibility for benefits based on immigration status.
Written consent from the claimant to submit the non-USCIS documentation to USCIS is not needed.
Illegal immigrants are not reported to USCIS unless these criteria are met:
If the EU declares an individual is an illegal immigrant, ask if there is a final order of deportation. If the EU declares there is a final order of deportation, report the illegal immigrant. If the EU declares there is not a final order of deportation, do not report the illegal immigrant.
NOTE: Failing to provide documentation, declining to declare citizenship or SAVE response indicating there is no record on the individual does not mean the individual is an illegal immigrant. This only means we do not know the citizenship/immigrant status of the individual. Do not report these individuals to USCIS.
Counties must report the illegal immigrant meeting the above criteria to the Food Stamp Program and Policy Unit within 10 days of the discovery with the following information:
The Food Stamp Program and Policy Unit will report the information to the appropriate USCIS office.
Sponsored immigrant provisions apply to those sponsored immigrants whose sponsor signed an affidavit of support or similar statement (as a condition of the immigrant's entry into the United States as a lawful permanent resident), on or after December 19, 1997. Sponsored immigrants are subject to sponsor liability rules and in rare circumstances to sponsor deeming. Record sponsor information on the Sponsor Information (FM85) screen. Refer to the FAMIS user guide Adding/Updating Immigrant Sponsor Information for additional information.
A sponsor is an individual who:
Sponsors who signed an affidavit of support on or after 12/19/1997 may be responsible for food stamp benefits received by immigrants they sponsor unless the immigrant or sponsor meet a liability exception. The exceptions to sponsor liability are:
FAMIS generates a notice to each sponsor who does not meet an exception, to notify him/her of liability for any food stamp benefits the sponsored immigrant receives.
Sponsor's deeming counts a sponsor's income and resources as though they are part of the immigrant's income and resources when determining if the immigrant is eligible for benefits. Only sponsored immigrants whose sponsors signed enforceable affidavits of support are subject to deeming. Refer to the FAMIS User Guide Deeming Immigrant Sponsor Income and Resources for additional information.
Do not deem the income or resources for any immigrant whose sponsor signed an affidavit of support prior to December 19, 1997.
Sponsor deeming does not apply to the following:
NOTE: If an immigrant is ineligible due to a disqualification, is sanctioned or is an ineligible student, deem the sponsor's income to the immigrant and follow current prorating policy to determine the amount counted for the rest of the EU.
NOTE: Apply all other exemptions prior to indigence.
Deem a portion of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse's income to the sponsored immigrant who is not exempt from deeming. Count the spouse's income even if the sponsor and spouse were married after signing the agreement. If the immigrant switches sponsors during the certification period, recalculate deemed income based on the required information about the new sponsor as soon as possible after the information is supplied by the immigrant and verified. Actual money paid to the immigrant by the sponsor's spouse is not considered income to the immigrant unless the amount paid exceeds the amount deemed. The amount paid that actually exceeds amount deemed is considered income to the immigrant in addition to the amount deemed (sponsor's countable income).
To determine the amount of income to attribute to the sponsored immigrant, follow the procedure below.
Income of the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse includes all gross income, including income from self-employment, but excludes all income exclusions allowed program applicants.
If a sponsor sponsors other immigrants, divide the income deemed to the sponsored immigrant(s) by the number of such immigrants that apply for or are receiving Food Stamps. If other immigrant support is not verified, the deemed income and resource amounts calculated are attributed to the applicant immigrant in their entirety until the information is provided. The income is determined in an offline determination. Enter the sponsor's income for each immigrant s/he sponsors. Enter UI (unearned income) as the type and AC (alien sponsor contribution) as the source on the Income (FMX0) screen.
Deem a portion of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse's resources to the sponsored immigrant who is not exempt from deeming. Count the spouse's resources even if the sponsor and spouse were married after signing the agreement. If the immigrant switches sponsors during the certification period, recalculate deemed resources based on the required information about the new sponsor as soon as possible after the information is supplied by the immigrant and verified.
Determine resources of the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse the same as any other food stamp applicant. The determination is made offline. Do not include any resource that is excluded from the Food Stamp Program.
Add the amount of resources the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse own, reduced by $1,500. This is the resource amount deemed to the immigrant. Enter the resources on the appropriate resource screens. Record a comment regarding the sponsor's resources and how the amount was determined.
When an individual(s) sponsors more than one immigrant, divide the deemed resources by the number of such immigrants that apply for or participate in the Food Stamp program.
The immigrant is responsible for:
FSD is responsible for obtaining from the immigrant or immigrant's spouse the following information:
In cases where the immigrant has not refused to obtain information or verification, only the immigrant is ineligible until it is received.
In cases where the same sponsor is responsible for an entire household of immigrants, the entire household is ineligible until the needed sponsor information is provided and/or verified.
In cases where the immigrant refuses to cooperate only the sponsor immigrant is ineligible.
If proper information and verification is subsequently received, act on the information as a reported change in household membership.
For applicants who do not have sponsor documentation with them, submit USCIS Form G-845, Document Verification Request, and G-845S, Document Verification Request SAVE to your appropriate USCIS office at the following address:
USCIS, 9747 North Conant Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64153 or USCIS, Robert A. Young Federal Bldg., 1222 Spruce St., Room 1100, St. Louis, MO 63103-2815