United States Citizens
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program Information on this page refers to the Cash Assistance program
This subject includes a list of who are considered a United States citizen and whether they are potentially eligible for NA and CA.
Policy
Participants for whom United States (U.S.) citizenship status is declared and who meet the U.S. citizenship criteria are potentially eligible to receive NA and CA.
The Primary Informant (PI) or authorized representative is required to declare the citizenship of participants in the budgetary unit for whom benefits are requested with each of the following:
Renewal application
When adding a participant to an active case
See each of the following for U.S. citizenship criteria:
Born in the United States, Territories, or Possessions
U.S. citizenship is established at birth when a participant is born in the U.S., its territories, or possessions.
Consider a participant a U.S. citizen when they were born in the U.S. or any of the following U.S. territories or possessions:
American Samoa
Guam
Swain Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands when either of the following is true:
The participant was born in the Northern Mariana Islands on or after 11/04/1986.
The participant was born in the Northern Mariana Islands before 11/04/1986, provides a written statement that they did not owe allegiance to a foreign state on 11/04/1986, and provides proof of any of the following:
Continuous residence in the Northern Mariana Islands before 11/03/1981.
Voter registration in the Northern Mariana Islands before 01/01/1975.
Continuous residence in the Northern Mariana Islands since before 01/01/1974 and a written statement that they entered the Northern Mariana Islands as an immigrant.
Panama Canal Zone when all of the following are true about the participant:
Born on or after 02/26/1904.
Born before 10/01/1979.
At least one parent was a U.S. citizen and employed by the U.S. government or the Panama Railroad Company.
Puerto Rico when born on or after 01/13/1941 or provides proof of any of the following:
Puerto Rican citizenship and a written statement that they resided in Puerto Rico on 03/01/1917.
Born in Puerto Rico on or after 04/01/1899, and a written statement that they resided in one of the following on 01/13/1941:
The U.S.
A U.S. territory
Puerto Rico
U.S. Virgin Islands when born on or after 01/17/1917 or provides proof of any of the following:
Born in the U.S. Virgin Islands and a written statement that on 02/25/1927 they resided in one of the following:
The U.S.
A U.S. territory
The U.S. Virgin Islands
Born in the U.S. Virgin Islands and a written statement that on 06/28/1932 they resided in one of the following:
The U.S.
A U.S. territory
The U.S. Virgin Islands
The Panama Canal Zone
Residing in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a Danish citizen on 01/17/1917 and provides a written statement as proof of all of the following:
They did not declare or maintain Danish citizenship.
On 02/27/1927, they resided in one of the following:
The U.S.
A U.S. territory
The U.S. Virgin Islands
Born Outside of the United States, Territories, or Possessions
Participants born in other countries are U.S. citizens when they meet one of the following conditions:
Naturalized citizens who have been granted citizenship by the United States Department of Justice.
NOTE A child can attain U.S. citizenship when both parents (or the sole custodial parent) become naturalized U.S. citizens. The parents are required to become naturalized before one of the following:
The child's 21st birthday when the parents were naturalized before 10/14/1940.
The child's 18th birthday when the parents were naturalized on or after 10/14/1940.
Born outside the U.S. or the previously listed U.S. territories or possessions, and their parents meet one of the following criteria:
Both parents are U.S. citizens and at least one parent lived in the United States, its territories, or possessions before the participant's birth.
One parent is a U.S. citizen, and the other is a noncitizen. The parent who is a citizen is required to have lived in the United States, its territories, or possessions for a total of five years before the participant’s birth. At least two of the five years must be after the parent reaches age 14.
NOTE Consider the parent to have resided in the U.S. for any period of time that they live outside of the U.S. as one of the following:
A U.S. Government employee.
Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
A woman who married a U.S. citizen before 09/22/1922.
NOTE This does not apply to a man who married a U.S. citizen.
Dual Citizens.
NOTE Dual citizens are participants recognized as a citizen by both the U.S. and a foreign country. Participants claiming dual citizenship are required to verify U.S. citizenship.
Child Citizenship Act of 2000
A child automatically acquires citizenship when they meet the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) criteria. The CCA went into effect on 02/27/2001. The CCA expedites the citizenship process for an adopted or a biological child with all of the following:
Born outside of the U.S. or the previously listed U.S. territories or possessions
Has at least one U.S. citizen parent.
Consider the child a U.S. citizen effective the date they meet all of the following requirements, but no earlier than 02/27/2001:
At least one parent is a U.S. citizen by birth or is naturalized.
The child is under the age of 18.
The child immigrates to the U.S. and has lawful permanent resident status.
The child lives in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.
When the child is adopted abroad, the date the full and final adoption is complete.
NOTE A child who attains U.S. citizenship through the CCA of 2000 keeps U.S. citizenship when they turn 18.
Verification
FAA has a system that interfaces with other agencies used to verify United States (U.S.) citizenship. However, system interface is not always available. The participant has the primary responsibility for providing verification. (See Participant Responsibilities – Providing Verification for additional policy.)
When requested, participants who declare U.S. citizenship are required to provide documented verification of U.S. citizenship. When the U.S. citizen participant receives SSI benefits, the citizenship verification requirement is met for NA and CA.
A participant’s statement is not allowed to verify U.S. citizenship. However, a written statement from the participant may be used for any of the following:
Where the participant resided when born in the U.S. Virgin Island and their Danish citizenship. (See U.S. Virgin Islands policy for details.)
Where the participant resided when born in Puerto Rico. (See Puerto Rico policy for details.)
Whether the participant residing in the Northern Mariana Islands entered as an immigrant and their allegiance on 11/04/1986. (See Northern Mariana Islands policy for details.)
Primary Verification Sources
When requested, the participant can verify U.S. citizenship using any of the following primary citizenship documents:
A birth certificate showing birth in the United States, its territories, or possessions, except any of the following:
Birth certificates for persons born to foreign diplomats residing in the United States.
Birth certificates issued from Puerto Rico issued before 07/01/2010.
Certificate of Birth issued by the Department of State (FS-545 or DPS-1350).
U.S. Passport current or expired, except for a limited passport which is issued for less than five years.
U.S. Passport Card issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570).
Certificate of United States Citizenship (N-560 or N-561).
Report of Birth Abroad of a United States Citizen (FS-240) issued by the United States State Department.
United States Consular officers’ statement.
A United States Citizen Identification Card (I-197).
Northern Mariana Identification Card (I-873).
A tribal enrollment card or Certificate of Indian Blood issued by a U.S. federally recognized tribe showing that the person is enrolled or affiliated with that tribe.
NOTE The Bureau of Indian Affairs publishes a revised list to the Federal Register annually. (For a current list, see Federally Recognized Tribes (PDF 74 KB))
American Indian Card (I-872) issued by USCIS with the classification code KIC.
Secondary Verification Sources
When primary documents are not available, any of the following secondary citizenship documents may be used to verify U.S. citizenship.
An Identification Card for Use of Resident Citizen (I-179).
U.S. census record that shows the participant's name, a U.S. place of birth, and the date of birth or age of the participant.
Religious record created within three months after birth, showing the participant’s date of birth or age when the record was made. It must indicate a place of birth in the United States, its territories, or possessions.
Proof of employment as a U.S. government civil servant before 06/01/1976.
Early school records showing all of the following:
The date of admission
The child’s date of birth and place of birth
The parent’s names and places of birth
Adoption finalization papers showing the child’s name and place of birth in the United States, its territories, or possessions.
NOTE When adoption is not finalized and the state will not release a birth certificate before final adoption, a statement from a state-approved adoption agency containing the child’s name and place of birth may be used. The source of information must be an original birth certificate and be indicated in the statement.
Alternate Documents
When none of the primary or secondary documents are available, any other document can be used that establishes a U.S. place of birth or in some way indicates U.S. citizenship. Examples of these documents include, and are not limited to, any of the following:
Certificates of Live Birth with a hospital official and a parent’s signature.
Medical records created five years before applying for NA or CA that show the United States, its territories, or possessions as the place of birth. These include any, and are not limited, to the following:
Wristbands
Crib cards
Yellow copies of hospital birth certificates.
NOTE For children under age 16, the document must be created near the time of birth.
American Indian Census Records.
Verification from USCIS.
Verification from the Social Security Administration.
Verification sent directly to FAA from a local, state or federal bureau of vital records office.
Legal records showing the participant’s name and place of birth in the United States, its territories, or possessions.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Verification Information System (VIS) response that validates U.S. citizenship.
On-line data match screen print with the Arizona Department of Vital Records through the AHCCCS Citizenship Verification System.
Military papers.
Marriage certificate showing marriage to a U.S. male citizen before 09/22/1922.
Life, health, or other insurance record created at least five years before the application indicating a place of birth in the United States.
State census records that show the participant’s name, a U.S. place of birth, and the participant’s date of birth or age.
Tribal census records for the Navajo and Seneca tribes. The records must be created at least five years before the application and list a U.S. place of birth.
An official notification of birth registration from a State’s Department of Vital Statistics in the United States.
An amended U.S. public birth record that is amended more than five years after the participant’s birth.
A statement signed by the physician or midwife who was in attendance at the time of birth.
The Roll of Alaska Natives from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Affidavit, as a Last Resort
When the participant cannot obtain any of the forms listed above, they may provide a completed Affidavit Attesting Citizenship for Cash Assistance and Nutrition Assistance (FAA-1353A) form.
Affidavit forms must meet all of the following requirements:
Be completed by a U.S. citizen who is knowledgeable about the participant’s circumstances.
Be signed by a U.S. citizen who is not a budgetary unit member.
Be approved by an FAA supervisor.
Ways to Find Verification Documents
For a search of census records, the participant can contact the United States Census Bureau to get an Application for Search of Census Records. The participant is responsible for any search fees. (See https://www.census.gov/library/video/age-search-service.html for additional information.)
The participant may also find the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records helpful in searching for a source of proof of their citizenship.
Legal Authorities
last revised 08/15/2022