Why your status cannot be verified in SAVE
A government agency such as the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) can usually determine if you are in a valid status right away by using SAVE. However, sometimes SAVE may not be able to verify your status immediately.
In some cases this is because your SEVIS record is not up-to-date. For example:
- Newly arrived students and scholars must wait at least 10 days after entering the country to allow the SAVE system to update.
- Students who have an I-20 that has been updated for change of level or transfer from one school to another must wait at least two days after their record has been registered before visiting DPS or SSA.
Another common reason that SAVE is unable to verify a student or scholar's status is due to a pending application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The following types of applications can cause delays or difficulties in status verification:
- Pending change of visa status application (including cap gap I-20s for H1B)
- Pending OPT or STEM OPT application
What to do if your status cannot be verified
Be sure to bring all immigration documents with you to your appointment with DPS or SSA:
- If you have a pending change of status or OPT application, your status may need to be verified by using the USCIS case number instead of your SEVIS ID.
- If you are on OPT and have a pending H1B petition, be sure to bring your cap gap I-20 with you, along with the receipt notice from USCIS. Ask to speak with a supervisor if your status cannot initially be verified. Supervisors at DPS or SSA may have more training in F-1 and J-1 visa issues and be better able to assist in the SAVE verification process. If your status cannot be verified, the agency may need to complete a process called secondary verification. If your case requires secondary verification, ask for details about the process.
- You can monitor the progress of your secondary verification on the SAVE verification website. Be sure to ask DPS or SSA when you can return for services after your case has been resolved. Although your case may be resolved in SAVE, the information may take additional time to sync with agency databases.
Helpful link regarding the SAVE verification process:
What to do if you are referred to the International Office
If DPS or SSA refers you to the TTU International Student and Scholar Services office to discuss your status, collect as much information as possible, then make an appointment to meet with an international advisor. Ask the agency for details about the issue and take notes so an advisor in the International Office can best assist you:
- Is secondary verification in SAVE in progress? If not, how can secondary verification be initiated?
- SAVE verification case number
- What documents were reviewed in the visit?
- What error message was received?
- Which system or database?
- If SAVE verification is not the issue, what other factors are making you ineligible for the benefit?
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