POMS Reference

This change was made on Jan 11, 2018. See latest version.
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RS 02640.020: Foreign Country of Citizenship

  • Effective Dates: 08/10/2016 - Present
  • Effective Dates: 01/11/2018 - Present
  • TN 6 (07-97)
  • TN 12 (01-18)
  • RS 02640.020 Citizenship in Other Countries
  • RS 02640.020 Foreign Country of Citizenship
  • A. Foreign country of citizenship and the Alien Nonpayment Provision (ANP)
  • Accept an allegation that an individual is a citizen of the country of his birth if evidence of his birth in that country has been submitted.
  • The ANP places a general 6-month limit on benefit payments to non-U.S. citizens who are outside the United States. However, the ANP contains a number of exceptions that allow payments to continue beyond the 6-month limit if the beneficiary meets the required conditions. For more information about these exceptions, see Exceptions to Alien Nonpayment in section RS 02610.010. For the additional requirements certain dependents and survivors must meet, see the 5 Year Residency Requirement for Alien Dependents/Survivors Outside the United States (U.S.) in section RS 02610.025.
  • The claimant/beneficiary must submit evidence of his citizenship if:
  • * He alleges citizenship in a country other than that of birth; and
  • * Citizenship is material to the payment of benefitsorthe withholding of tax (RS 02640.001).
  • Four exceptions to the ANP are based on the beneficiary’s country of citizenship. The chart in RS 02610.015C shows which countries provide a citizenship exception. As shown in RS 02610.013B, these are the alien exception codes (AECs) and the citizenship exceptions to which they apply:
  • * AEC 3 – 10-year U.S. residence exception
  • * AEC 4 – the 40 quarters of coverage exception
  • * AEC 5 – treaty exception
  • * AEC 6 – social insurance exception
  • Accept an allegation of a change in citizenship if it is not self-serving.
  • B. When we require proof of foreign citizenship
  • Exceptions to the ANP are required for the payment of benefits to non-U.S. citizens outside the United States to continue beyond the general 6-month limit. If the beneficiary’s country of citizenship provides the exception, we require proof of that citizenship.
  • NOTE: Do not develop for proof of the beneficiary’s citizenship exception if we already have evidence that the beneficiary qualifies for another exception to the ANP not based on citizenship. This includes exemptions from the ANP provided by residence in a totalization country. Apply the exception that will not require a development action even if it is in a lower priority class. For information about the coding priority of exceptions to the ANP, see Coding Priority of Alien Nonpayment Provisions in section RS 02610.013.
  • C. Additional citizenship considerations
  • This chart contains information and guidance on additional citizenship considerations:
  • This chart provides information on areas for which there are special considerations.
  • Citizenship
  • Remarks
  • American Indian
  • North American Indian
  • Although some individuals state they are “North American Indians,” there is no such national citizenship. They are members of certain tribes located near the Canadian-U.S. border and their national citizenship is either Canadian or U.S.
  • Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Portugal
  • These countries are composed of territories in Europe, America, Asia and/or Africa. The portion of the country in which an individual was born is immaterial in determining citizenship.
  • United Kingdom
  • The terms “British subjects” and “Commonwealth citizens” do not mean an individual is a citizen of the United Kingdom (U.K.). These terms are synonymous and indicate citizenship in a country which is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
  • The U.K. considers as citizens all persons born within the U.K. or within what is now a British colony. They are “citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies.” Generally, a person born in a colony which has been given independence acquires citizenship in the new nation and does not keep his U.K. citizenship.
  • Overseas Territories of Foreign Countries
  • Only citizenship of a country listed in RS 02610.015C may provide an exception to the ANP. Do not assume that a person who resides in an overseas territory outside of one of the listed countries is a citizen of the listed country because this might not be the case. An overseas territory of a listed country might provide territorial citizenship, but not citizenship of the listed country. For example, the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda recognizes citizenship of its own territory. However, France designates the people of French Guiana, a French overseas territory, as French citizens.
  • United Kingdom (U.K.)
  • The United Kingdom’s nationality laws are complex and have changed significantly over time. There are six different types of nationality provided under U.K. law. A person may hold more than one type of British nationality. However, only those who hold U.K. citizenship can qualify for the social insurance exception (AEC 6) to the ANP that is in effect for the United Kingdom.
  • Evidence of U.K. citizenship includes a U.K. passport showing “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” on the cover. The United Kingdom also provides a naturalization certificate to those who qualify for U.K. citizenship, or a registration certificate to those who register as U.K. citizens. In addition, someone can claim and obtain confirmation of U.K. citizenship by applying for a confirmation certificate from the U.K. Government.
  • NOTE: A person who is a British Overseas Territory (BOT) Citizen might or might not also have U.K. citizenship. A BOT passport is not proof of U.K. citizenship.
  • D. References
  • GN 01701.150 Alien Nonpayment Exemptions Under Totalization Agreements
  • RS 02610.010 Exceptions to Alien Nonpayment
  • RS 02610.013 Coding Priority of Alien Nonpayment Provisions
  • RS 02610.015 Status of Countries for Applying Exceptions Based on Citizenship
  • RS 02610.025 5 Year Residency Requirement for Alien Dependents/Survivors Outside the United States (U.S.)
  • RS 02640.060 Evidence of Citizenship in Other Countries