Posted Date: May 4, 2018

Author:  Federal Student Aid

Subject: Work Around for Schools to Receive Third Step Verification Status Responses until DHS-SAVE User IDs are Issued

The Federal Student Aid (FSA) Electronic Announcement dated 2/26/2018, titled “Transition from Paper G-845 Form to an Electronic Confirmation Process for Eligible Noncitizen Status” explained that FSA is transitioning from the Department of Homeland Security-United States Customs and Immigration Services (DHS-USCIS) paper Form G-845 (for third step verification) to an electronic process via DHS’ Systematic for Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system.

The DHS-SAVE program began rejecting all paper Forms G-845 (requests for third step verification) on May 1, 2018 when the process went paperless. FSA and DHS are in the process of completing the operational tasks required to transition authorized school users to the electronic process. FSA’s best estimate of the date that log-on credentials will be issued is the last week of May 2018.

Until DHS/SAVE user IDs are issued to the school’s Primary Destination Point Administrator (PDPA), schools may follow the steps below to receive an updated Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) through the Central Processing System (CPS). FSA will provide schools with the student’s third step immigration status response if it is available in the SAVE system.

If the student has provided the school with immigration documentation that supports the student’s eligible noncitizen status, (see the Federal Student Aid Handbook for immigration document status information), but the student’s ISIR indicates that the student is not an eligible noncitizen, or the school receives a paper Form G-845 response indicating that the case is closed, or was rejected because it was received after SAVE’s May 1, 2018  processing deadline, follow these steps:

Step 1: School may submit a correction transaction to resend the record though the DHS match.

This will clear some transactions for eligible noncitizens that were updated in the SAVE system since they were first processed in the Central Processing System (CPS).

To make a correction to the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) record, resend it to DHS and generate an updated ISIR, the school must:

  1. Log in to FAA Access to CPS Online and select the applicant’s most recent transaction, open corrections, and correct (by re-typing the same letters) over one or more these specific data elements:  student’s name, date of birth or Alien Registration Number.

  2. Submit this update as a correction record to the CPS.

  3. When the institution receives a new ISIR in three to five days; the school must check the DHS Match Flags and comments.

    • If the DHS Match Flags and comments indicate that the student is an eligible noncitizen, process the student’s Title IV aid. The process is complete for this student.

    • If the DHS Match Flags and comments indicate that the student is not an eligible noncitizen, the school should send an email to: applicationprocessingdivision@ed.gov, providing only the student’s DHS Verification Number and the processing year (2017–18 or 2018–19) from the latest ISIR in the subject line. Do not include the student’s name or Social Security Number.

Step 2:  Upon receiving the DHS Verification number from the school, FSA will resend the transaction though the DHS match and check the student’s record in the SAVE system.

This allows FSA to provide SAVE second step eligibility statuses for records that did not go through the DHS match with the school’s correction submission (above) and for student records in a “closed” status in the SAVE system.

  1. FSA will resend the student’s record back through the DHS match and generate a new ISIR.

  2. The institution will receive a new ISIR in three to five days and must check the DHS Match Flags and comments.

    • If the DHS Match Flags and comments indicate that the student is an eligible noncitizen, process the student’s Title IV aid. The process is complete for this student.

    • If the DHS Match Flags and comments indicate that the student is not an eligible noncitizen, FSA will research the student’s record in the SAVE system and will email one of the following responses to the school within 7 days:

      • If the student’s SAVE third step immigration status is available, and the student is an eligible noncitizen, the response will contain this information and explain that this notification is sufficient third step verification to award and disburse Title IV aid.  A copy of this email should be placed in the student’s file.

      • If the student’s SAVE third step DHS immigration status is not available or, if it is available, but the student is not an eligible noncitizen, the response will contain this information. It will also explain that if the student has provided immigration documentation to the school that supports the student’s eligible noncitizen status, the Financial Aid Administrator must submit it with a third step verification request via the SAVE system after receiving his or her SAVE login credentials.

Access to the SAVE System

FSA will provide each Title IV-eligible institution log-on credentials to access the SAVE system as soon as possible. An electronic announcement will be posted to notify schools when SAVE system log-on credentials have been issued.

All documents, including Electronic Announcements related to the DHS-SAVE system, can be found at: https://ifap.ed.gov/DHSSAVEEligibleNoncitizen/ElectThirdStepVerfi.html, along with information on how PDPAs with CPS access will be assigned SAVE system log-on credentials, instructions on navigating the SAVE system, and the updated FSA Handbook.

FSA hopes that this transition to an electronic process helps institutions achieve modernization and sustainability goals. FSA genuinely appreciates the community’s patience and assistance throughout the implementation of this process.

   

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