Interim Guidance on Verification of Citizenship, Qualified Alien Status and Eligibility Under Title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (November 17, 1997) [pdf]

Department of Justice Guidance, issued in 1997 implementing 1996 laws (The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act -PRWORA and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act IIRAIRA) that together govern immigrant access to federal and state public benefits. These interim guidance have remained in effect since 1997. Although a proposed rule was published in 1998, that proposed rule was never promulgated or finalized. As a result these interim guidance continue to govern regarding the application process for public benefits for immigrants and at what point in the process benefits application process and under what circumstances are state and federal public benefits granting agencies authorized to contact DHS regarding immigration status eligibility for public benefits purposes. The interim guidance contains detailed information on public benefits eligibility for battered immigrants in Attachment 5 Exhibit B which also discusses the battered immigrant deeming exception, abused step-child eligibility for VAWA suspension of deportation and cancellation of removal; and discusses applying the “any credible evidence” standard to prove battery or extreme cruelty. It is important to note that the old fax based system for verification for battered immigrants has been replaced by the SAVE system which has special rules for how verification is conducted in cases of abused immigrants and immigrant crime victims to protect VAWA confidentiality.