The Candidate

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2005
All over the place.
I applied for federal direct loans as a grad student for my school in the northeast. I also happen to hold a US permanent residency status, which makes me eligible for such loan. My school is cuurently putting me through tough times with residency status verification, by sending a notarized copy of my greencard along with other paper work to the Department of Homeland Security (approximately 23 days ago). The financial aid officer at my school told me that he can't give me any time-frame on how long the DHS will take to respond.

This is not my first time applying to FAFSA, I was granted Pell Grant numerous times before during my undergrad (different school), and I was put through the same process (DHS status verification), and the maximum I had to wait was 2-3 weeks. Obviously, there is a record of this in my FAFSA 05-06 application, but it turns out that each request is being treated different for each institution.

So, I did my own research on how long the DHS should take on verifying a legal residency status, and here is what I found in FAFSA's official Handbook for 2006-2007:

"The school must complete a Form G-845S and send it to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) field office in the school's area within 10 business days of receiving the student’s documentation. "Status verifier at the DHS office will search the student’s record to confirm his immigration status..... and send the G-845S back to the school, generally within ten working days of receipt. We recommend that the school documents any mailings to the DHS and, if the school haven’t heard back, that they call its local DHS office to make sure the G-845S was received. If the school doesn’t receive a response from the DHS within 15 working days (ten working days plus five days’ mail time) of the date the school sent the G-845S, the school should review the file and use their best judgment to determine whether the student meets the eligible noncitizen requirements based on the documentation the student provided and the information in this chapter. If the school believes that the student meets the requirements, the school can make any disbursement for which the student is otherwise eligible; however, you must note in the student’s file that USCIS exceeded the time allotment and that noncitizen eligibility was determined without their verification."

Again, this is straight out of the Federal Aid 06/07 handbook. It has been more than 15 business days since my school mailed the papers to DHS. Does anyone think if this information can be used to make a case at my institution to get my direct loans? I highlighted the parameters my school should consider above, to get my direct loans. I even presented my actual DHS greencard to my financial aid officer, he keeps telling me that won't work.

Sorry for the long post, any experienced and valuable suggestions are appreciated.


Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2002
Wild west of Mistytown
I suggest you discuss this with your financial aid office. I wish I had more to offer but I am not familiar with this situation. Remember they also might not know much about this either if it doesn't happen alot so you might be able to help. If the financial officer can't help be adamant and ask to someone who can help you figure this out. :luck:
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