Washington, D. C. 20210






January 2, 2003














Office of Workforce Security




SAVE - Automated Secondary Verification of Aliens' Status

  1. Purpose. To inform all State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) of (a) the availability of the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) automated secondary system to verify immigration status of alien claimants and (b) the discontinuation of two access methods for the alien verification process.

  2. References. Section 1137(d) of the Social Security Act (SSA).

  3. Background. Section 1137(d), SSA, directs that SWAs require each applicant for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, as a condition of eligibility, to declare under penalty of perjury whether he/she is a citizen or national of the United States and, if not, whether he/she is in a satisfactory immigration status. For UI purposes, this means an alien must be legally authorized to work at the time benefits are claimed in order to meet the availability for work requirements. A claimant who is not a citizen or national must present alien registration documentation that the SWA can use to verify satisfactory immigration status through the INS.

    The INS does not make determinations of aliens' eligibility for benefits. SWAs make these determinations based upon information provided by the INS. The INS has established verification procedures through a process known as Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE). The SAVE system has both primary (automated) and secondary (manual, until recently) procedures for verification, as referenced in the SSA, Sections 1137(d)(3) and (4). The SWA initiates the primary procedure by accessing the INS database and entering the alien registration number (A-Number). This provides an immediate, automated response about the alien of record. If the database substantiates that the alien is authorized to work, the response provides an employment eligibility statement and identifies thealien's immigration status. If legal status cannot be determined, the response from INS instructs the SWA to "institute secondary verification" to obtain sufficient information to make a determination. Previously, SWAs would institute the secondary procedure by completing the INS Form G-845 (Secondary Verification Request) and then mailing it, along with copies of the alien's immigration documentation, to a local field office of the INS.

  4. Changes to the INS Verification Process

    1. Automated Secondary Process. The INS has developed an enhanced secondary verification procedure that will reduce the manual aspect by eliminating the need, in most cases, for SWAs to fill out forms, copy immigration documents, and send the secondary verification requests via mail. This will reduce processing time and permit eligibility determinations to be made more promptly by SWAs. The automated secondary verification process was successfully pilot-tested in the California SWA, and it has been fully implemented there. INS has subsequently implemented automated secondary verification processes in a number of additional SWAs, with several more in progress. All SWAs currently using the automated primary SAVE process will be converted from the manual secondary verification process to the new automated secondary verification process.

    2. Access Methods. In addition, the INS is making a transition to a new contractor that will provide the computer support for the verification process. Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) is assuming the responsibilities formerly provided by Lockheed Martin. Upon completion of the transition period, two of the current access methods used by SWAs will no longer be supported for the automated verification process: touch-tone and point-of-sale. Three access methods will remain operational:

      • 3270 Terminals (ASVS 3270 - CIS),

      • PC Windows-Based (ASVS PC System), and

      • Computer Matching (ASVS Batch).

      Each of the three access methods listed above will accommodate the automated secondary verification process. SWAs that have been using either of the two access methods that will be discontinued (touch-tone and point-of-sale) should evaluate the remaining access methods and select the one that best meets their needs.

      More detailed information regarding implementation of the automated secondary process and access methods can be obtained from INS by calling Phyllis Lancaster or Renee Shaming at 202-514-2317 or by e-mail to: phyllis.a.lancaster@usdoj.gov..

  5. SWAs with Waivers. In accordance with provisions in Section 1137(d), SSA, the Secretary of Labor has granted waivers from the requirements to use the automated primary SAVE process to certain SWAs that have had low volumes of alien claimants. These SWAs have verified aliens’ immigration status solely by the manual secondary process.

    After the INS implements the automated secondary verification system, the manual process will remain available to those SWAs that have been granted waivers. However, processing can be much quicker with the automated system; therefore, SWAs are encouraged to evaluate the desirability of continued reliance on the manual process.

  6. Action Required. SWA Administrators are requested to:

    1. consider the advantages of using the automated secondary verification process offered by INS and are encouraged to enlist for implementation as soon as possible.

    2. identify the current access method used for SAVE and, if necessary, select and prepare for transition to another method.

  7. Inquiries. Please direct inquiries to your Regional Office.