Revision 09-4; Effective December 1, 2009
To lawfully remain in the U.S., a person who is not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national and is present in the U.S. must have authorization from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
D-8210 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Documents
Revision 21-3; Effective September 1, 2021
Commuter I-551 — An Alien Registration Receipt Card (Type 2) issued to an alien who has been granted Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status but lives in Mexico or Canada and commutes to the U.S. to work. The second digit of the ISS/T field identifies the type of card.
Grommeted I-151 — The Alien Registration Receipt Card with a grommet (a hole surrounded by a metal ring), in the upper right corner. This card was previously issued by INS to an alien who had LPR status but lived in Mexico or Canada and commuted to the U.S. to work.
I-94 — The Arrival/Departure Record issued by DHS to all documented nonimmigrants (students, visitors, parolees, refugees and Cuban/Haitian entrants).
I-151 — The version of the Alien Registration Receipt Card issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to aliens from July 1946 through late 1978.
I-551 — The current version of the Alien Registration Receipt Card (Type 1). INS (now DHS) began issuing this card in 1978 to immigrants who have been granted LPR status and are residing in the U.S. The second digit of the ISS/T field identifies the type of card.
I-688 — A temporary resident card that was laminated and issued by INS to legalized aliens and Special Agricultural Workers (SAWs) whose status had been adjusted to lawful temporary resident (LTR). In certain cases, INS placed a label (I-688EXT) on the back of the card to use until the I-551 was issued. This is not a current immigration form and DHS is no longer issuing this document. Currently, there are no valid I-688 cards (or I-688 cards with extension stickers).
I-688A — An employment authorization card issued by INS to legalize SAW applicants who filed an application to adjust their status to LTR. This is not a current immigration form and DHS no longer issues this document. Currently, there are no valid I-688A cards.
I-688B — The employment authorization document that was a laminated card given by DHS to newly admitted nonimmigrants or those with previous employment authorization who needed an extension. The I-688B replaced the “employment authorization” annotation previously placed on other DHS documents. This is not a current immigration form and DHS is no longer issues this document. Currently, there are no valid I-688B cards.
I-688EXT — Form I-688 with an extended period of validity of the Temporary Resident Card. In certain situations, INS placed a sticker on the back of the card. This served as temporary evidence of permanent residence until the alien received an I-551. This is not a current immigration form and DHS no longer issues this document. Currently, there are no valid I-688 cards or I-688 cards with extension stickers.
I-766 — Employment Authorization Document. Currently, the I-766 is the only valid document verifying employment authorization. This form replaced all other employment authorization documents issued previously.
Passport — A travel document issued by a competent authority showing the bearer's origin, identity and nationality, if any, that is valid for the entry of the bearer into a foreign country.
Temporary I-551 — The card issued to either an immigrant who has just been granted a lawful status or to an immigrant who has lost his Alien Registration Receipt Card and has applied for a replacement I-551.
Visa — A document issued by U.S. embassies and consulates in foreign countries that is a permit for a foreign national to proceed to a U.S. port of entry to apply to DHS for admission to the U.S. The DHS immigration office at the port of entry decides the conditions (that is, category of admission and length of stay in the U.S.) based on the visa category.
D-8220 Groups of Aliens
Revision 17-4; Effective December 1, 2017
For Medicaid eligibility purposes, an alien is any person who is not a natural-born or naturalized citizen or national of the U.S.
Effective Aug. 22, 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) limited an alien’s eligibility for Medicaid.
Most aliens must meet two requirements to be eligible for full Medicaid and/or a Medicare Savings Program (MSP):
- the noncitizen must be in a "qualified alien" category (see Section D-8300, Qualified Alien Categories); and
- meet an LAPR condition for qualified aliens (see Section D-8400, LAPR Conditions for Medicaid).
Generally, aliens are now referred to as:
- qualified aliens; or
- non-qualified aliens.
Qualified aliens are potentially eligible for ongoing full Medicaid benefits and/or MSP. Non-qualified aliens are not eligible for ongoing Medicaid coverage however, may qualify for limited Medicaid eligibility for the treatment of an emergency medical condition only.
Except when it involves undocumented aliens, use the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Verification Information System (VIS) to verify the alien status on all noncitizens.
D-8221 Date of Qualifying Classification
Revision 19-4; Effective December 1, 2019
Use SAVE VIS to verify the alien status of all documented non-citizens. If a person is undocumented, do not run SAVE.
A qualified alien’s eligibility is based on the:
- date of entry with a qualifying classification;
- alien's qualifying classification; and
- Medicaid application date.
Use the date of entry into the U.S. and, if different, the date of entry with a qualifying alien classification to determine the correct category for the qualified alien.
The date on the alien's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document or card often represents the alien's first date of entry into the U.S.
In some cases, an alien may be present in the U.S. without a qualifying classification, depart, and then return to the U.S. with a qualifying alien classification. Other aliens may have entered the U.S. without a qualifying alien classification and remained continuously present in the U.S. until obtaining qualified immigrant status. For these aliens, the date on their DHS document or card reflects the date of entry with a qualifying alien classification or the date the qualifying alien classification was granted, not the alien's original date of entry.
Allow aliens with a DHS document or card showing an entry date on or after Aug. 22, 1996, who claim to have entered before that date, an opportunity to submit evidence of their claimed date of entry. This evidence may include pay stubs, a letter from an employer, or a lease or utility bill in the alien's name.
Verifying continuous presence
DHS maintains a record of arrivals to and departures from the country for most legal entrants. This record may be used to establish that an alien has continually resided in the U. S. since before Aug. 22, 1996.
Verify via SAVE with DHS-USCIS to confirm continuous presence in the U.S. Any single absence from the U.S. of more than 30 days, or a combined absence of more than 90 days, is considered to interrupt "continuous presence."
Other entrants, including aliens who entered the U.S. without USCIS documents, must provide documentary evidence proving continuous presence, such as a letter from an employer, a series of pay stubs or utility bills in the alien's name, spanning the time in question.
Note: Once an alien obtains a qualifying alien status, the person does not have to continuously remain present in the U.S.
Documentation and Verification Guide, Appendix XVI
Initial Request at Time of Application, D-5510
Verification of Alien Status, D-8700
Documentary Evidence by Classification, D-8710
Secondary Verification of Alien Immigration Status, D-8840
Reasonable Opportunity to Provide Verification of Alien Immigration Status, D-8841
Entry Before 1996, D-8910
Entry on or After Aug. 22, 1996-Qualifed Alien No Waiting Period, D-8920
LPR Aliens With or Without Five-Year Waiting Period, D-8930
D-8222 Reserved for Future Use
Revision 17-4; Effective December 1, 2017