Verification of Refugee Status with the Department of State Refugee Data Center
State Letter #02-04
TO: STATE REFUGEE COORDINATORS
NATIONAL VOLUNTARY AGENCIES
OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES
FROM: Nguyen Van Hanh, Ph.D.
Office of Refugee Resettlement
SUBJECT: Verification of Refugee Status with the Department of State Refugee Data Center
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has entered into an agreement with the Department of State (DOS) for verification of a refugee's status with the DOS Refugee Data Center (RDC). The DOS/RDC is to be used by SSA for refugees applying for a social security number when SSA cannot verify refugee status by an online Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE) query.
Refugees often apply for Social Security numbers within days of arriving in the United States and before data is available through SAVE. On January 29, 2002, SSA released instructions to its field office employees on how to verify refugee status using the DOS Refugee Data Center. The verification instructions are provided in the attached SSA File Number EM-02009. The new instructions state that if the online SAVE query does not confirm refugee status, SSA now requires verification with the RDC of the status of any individual presenting an I-94 Arrival/Departure Card indicating the person was admitted as a refugee.
For more information on the new SSA instructions using the DOS/RDC to verify refugee status for refugees applying for a social security number, please read the attachment from SSA.
Last Reviewed: September 8, 2015