305.23 Verification of Qualified Alien Status (FSM)

SR 04-30 Dated 04/03

Previous Policy


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) maintains various databases on non-citizens in the U.S. Verify the accuracy of documents provided by the non-citizen against USCIS data using the * Verification Information System (VIS) primary and secondary verification process.

Primary verification: * To initiate primary verification, access VIS through the Internet and follow the instructions on each screen.

Secondary verification: * Perform secondary verification procedures when:

• the initial System Response in VIS indicates "Institute Additional Verification"; or

• the information in the VIS Initial Results section does not match the information on the documents provided by the non-citizen.


If requested, provide USCIS with copies of the needed documents and USCIS Form G-845, Verification Request. Attach photocopies of the front and back of all pages of the non-citizens original documents. Forward the request to the USCIS District Office at the following address:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Attn: Status Verifier (No. 2)

JFK Federal Building

Government Center

Boston, MA 02203

Phone: (800) 375-5283


The following chart lists common USCIS documents. *




Arrival–Departure Record


Issued to most non-citizens upon entry into the U.S. It is attached to an unexpired foreign passport. Often it includes neither an A-number nor a photograph. It also may contain entries such as the following:

Section 203(a)(7)—Conditional Entry

Section 207—Refugee

Section 208—Asylee

Section 212(d)(5)—Parolee

Cuban/Haitian Entrant

Amerasian Immigrant (may have codes AM1, 2, 3 or AM 6, 7, or 8)

I-151 (Obsolete)

Alien Registration Receipt Card (Also called "Green Card")


Issued to lawful permanent residents prior to June 1978. This form is no longer issued.

Although no longer acceptable as verification of lawful permanent resident status, an expired I-151 does not indicate lack of permanent resident status. Encourage the individual to contact USCIS, 1-800-375-5283, for instructions on how to replace the I-151 card with the current I-551 card.


Reentry Permit


Issued to lawful permanent residents (lawful immigrants) before they leave the U.S. for a one- to two-year period. The document bears an expiration date.


Permanent Resident Card (also called "Green Card" although it is no longer green)


Issued to lawful permanent residents after June 1978. Valid indefinitely. Replaced previous Form I-151, which is no longer valid as of 3/20/96. Also known as the "Alien Registration Receipt Card."

Also acts as Conditional Resident Alien card

Also issued to conditional residents, such as non-citizen spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful residents. When this is the case, the form is only valid until the expiration date on the back. Annotated "CR."


Refugee Travel Document


Issued to non-citizens who have been granted refugee status. This document contains an expiration date.



Certificate of naturalization issued for babies verified by USCIS as born to U.S. citizens overseas.


References: 42 USC 1320b-7(d), 8 USC 1642, Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) [PL 99-603], 62 Federal Register 61411-414 (Nov. 17, 1997)