Immigration Status Determination

From The New Book:
Business Security: Over 50 Ways To Protect A Business

By T. A. Brown


On March 1, 2003 transition of the Immigration and Naturali-zation Service (INS) was incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Complete Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) information for employees can be found online at the official government website at:

One of the easiest ways to determine Naturalization information is via Voters Registration. Most naturalized citizens are proud to vote and therefore register. The registration will show their petition and certificate number as well as the place of issuance.
Check for arrest reports or incident reports. These will also often reflect immigration status.

Does he/she have a good Social Security Number? To verify up to 5 names or Social Security Numbers just call the toll-free number for employers at 800-772-6270 or the general Social Security Administration number at 800-772-1213. Both numbers are open for service weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in all time zones.

If the alien registration card has a pasted on photo, it's no good. There are several other clues if you handle a card or see a copy of it, but the BCIS only cares if the Permanent Resident Card is properly completed.

Immigrants can now file an online request for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) and a request to renew or replace a Permanent Resident Card (I-90).

If you wish to hire immigrants, you can elect to sign up with the SAVE Program for new hires. It's free to all employers. SAVE stands for “Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements/ Employment.” The system is set up through the BCIS. The organization must enter into an access agreement with the BCIS. A prospective employee will provide documentation about their status, and the document number will be entered on the SAVE system which will either confirm the status, or indicate that secondary verification should be initiated. Sometimes status will be confirmed on a secondary verification after the initial request has failed. SAVE online:

Contact the BCIS Criminal Investigations Division directly to find the date of expiration on a passport or if the immigrant is still in the United States. They search by name, not numbers. The U.S. Census Bureau and Freedom of Information Act requests are also avenues for locating immigration information.

Virtual Immigration Law Library from the Dept. of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review:
BCIS records can be subpoenaed if there is a judgment filed against the immigrant.

U.S. Visa News on Immigration:

1-800-375-5283 toll-free number for automated case status assistance on Service Center filed cases.
For the Freedom Of Information Act Request Form for BCIS records you need Form G-639 (03-21-94). No prior versions may be used. Other parties requesting nonpublic information about an individual usually must have the consent of that individual on Form G-639 or by an authorizing letter, together with appropriate verification of identity of the record subject. Notarized or sworn declaration is required from a record subject who is a lawful permanent resident or a U.S. Citizen, and for access to certain legalization files.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Contact: Director
Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Program
425 Eye Street, N.W., 2nd Floor
ULLICO Building
Washington, D.C. 20536
(202) 514-1722

Copyright: 2004, T. A. Brown, All rights reserved.
From The New Book: Business Security: Over 50 Ways To Protect A Business