GN 00307: Foreign Evidence
TN 58 (06-18)
A. Introduction to evaluating evidence from the Marshall Islands
Vital statistics records from the Marshall Islands are not reliable. While the Ministry of Internal Affairs issues documents in a uniform format, they have little to no security features. In some circumstances, it is possible to obtain a genuine document with false information.
The Marshall Islands issues a national ID card/driver’s license. However, if the issuing region only laminates a printed-paper ID card with a glued on photo, the document is vulnerable to photo substitution or forgery. Less vulnerable to unsophisticated counterfeiting are ID cards issued by regions that transfer the individual’s information and photo directly onto a plastic card.
The machine-readable Marshallese passport is the document least vulnerable to fraud because it has a number of security features. However, because the country’s passport stock is not completely secure, it is possible to obtain a counterfeit passport on the black market.
B. Policy for accepting evidence from the Marshall Islands
We do not accept evidence from the Marshall Islands at face value.
C. Procedure for developing evidence from the Marshall Islands
1. Obtaining evidence of age for people born in the Marshall Islands
If the claimant lives in the United States, develop for convincing evidence of age as explained in
GN 00302.115 First Priority Automatically Convincing Evidence of Age
GN 00302.118 Second Priority Automatically Convincing Evidence of Age
GN 00302.125 Combination of Documents Which Eliminate the Need for Further Development — Age
If the claimant resides outside the United States, develop for other evidence to prove age as explained in GN 00307.150C.2.b.
2. Obtaining evidence of other events that occurred in the Marshall Islands
Do not ask the claimant to submit evidence from the Marshall Islands. Develop for secondary evidence or other non-Marshallese evidence according to the evidentiary requirements for the type of claim filed. For information on determining what evidence SSA requires, see GN 00301.140. Obtain evidence issued at least five years before the claimant first filed for benefits. If the event occurred less than five years before the claimant first filed for benefits, obtain evidence issued as close to the event date as possible.
3. Verification of evidence from the Marshall Islands
Follow these instructions if the claimant submitted evidence from the Marshall Islands.
a. When to request verification of evidence from the Marshall Islands
Request verification of evidence from the Marshall Islands only if:
There is no secondary non-Marshallese evidence; or
We cannot make a decision based on the other evidence; or
The verified Marshallese document would be sufficient to establish:
the factor of entitlement or
a more advantageous date as explained in GN 00204.040.
b. How to request verification of evidence from the Marshall Islands
If any of the situations in GN 00307.647C.3.a in this section apply, take the following steps:
Scan a clear and complete copy (front and back) of the document into the electronic folder using the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed). For an overview of NDRed, see
Access the Electronic 562 and prepare a “Request for Assistance/Certification of Documents or Records” as follows:
Request that the Regional Federal Benefits Officer (RFBO) obtain the assistance of the servicing Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) or the Foreign Service Post (FSP).
Include a remark that the document is available in the Claims File User Interface (CFUI). For information on CFUI, see SM 08001.000.
Specify that we require a personal examination of the source record. (The source record reveals whether the document is accurate, unaltered, and made at the time stated).
Ask the RFBO to ask that FBU or FSP obtain a current certification, if verification shows that the claimant submitted a document that differs materially from the source record.
Do not send the SSA-562 directly to the RFBO. Send the form to office code E15 in the International Benefits Office (IBO), the Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO), Division of International Operations (DIO). For information on requesting assistance in foreign cases, see GN 00904.220.