Some essential thing about Social security number that every application should know
If you are not US citizens but are willing to work in the United States, you will need to apply for the Social Security number that allows you to start working in the United States. In this guide you will get the complete details about the Social Security number.
Besides this, if you wish you to live in the united states for permanently then you can refer to the immigrant visa guide USCIS.
What is a Social Security Number?
Social security number is referred as the nine-digit identification number assigned to the US citizen, permanent resident, and non-immigrant working residents. Social security number is mainly give to the people who are looking to start working in US, get Social Security benefits, pension, and with Social Security number you also get eligible for some additional government services.
There are a total of three different types of Social Security card:
One of the most common social security cards contains a name of the applicant and allotted Social Security number. This card is given to the citizens and legal permanent residence.
The other type of Social Security card is mainly for temporary workers or for the one with non-immigrants status. They are valid for the employees through the DHS authorization, and you can use this card to meet the I-9 eligibility criteria.
The last type of Social Security card is mainly issued for the purpose of tax returns and you cannot use this card along with the I-9 form or for employment.
For details related to the non-immigrant visa you can refer to the non-immigrant visa guide USCIS.
To get eligible to request for the Social Security number, the applicant needs to submit some of the eligibility criteria set by the social security administration:
- You should be eligible to get employed in the United States.
- You should be the full-time student.
- You must have obtained the formal offer of on-campus employment or must have been approved for the off-campus employment by the curricular practical training, academy training, or practical training.
Note: Those who with the non-employement based temporary visa like ESTA. The applicants under those categories cannot apply for the social security number without the work authorization.
These are some of the eligibility criteria which you need to meet to get eligible to apply for the social security number.
Who Needs an SSN?
Non-immigrant who is allowed to get employed in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is allowed to receive the social security number.
Employers use the SSNs Number of their employees to provide the employee’s wages to the government and check if they are eligible for the social security benefits.
Social Security number is for working in United States, liable to getting social security benefits and to get some additional government services.
If you are not a citizen of the United States and are not looking to work in the United States, then you don’t need to obtain a social security number.
Where to find Social Security Number?
Social Security number is usually a nine-digit number that is specially assigned to US citizens, lawful permanent residents and several other working non-immigrant residents. Social Security Administration provides the Social Security number to keep the record of individuals employed for social benefits. Moreover, SSN has turned into a de facto national identification number for filing the tax return and several other purposes from the past few times. As a result, SSN is referred to as one of the most common part of the USCIS forms.
Finding Your Social Security Number
If you have received the Social Security number, you can easily find your number on the Social Security card. Several other places where you can easily locate your Social Security numbers are on tax returns, bank statements and W-2S.
Also, you can find your SSN on the previously submitted USCIS form. Moreover, if you do not have a Social Security number, you can simply fill the column as N/A in the space provided to fill the SSN on USCIS forms. Most of the people who have the nonimmigrant visa do not contain the Social security number.
If you cannot find your Social Security number, you can request the employer to provide you with the social security number. They use employees usually keep the SSN of their employees in a separate file. Contact your employer to get a copy of your number.
Will I get a Social Security number when filing Form I-765?
Yes, as per the latest guidelines, people can get the work permit and a Social Security number at the same time.
To get employed legally in the United States, international workers require both an employment authorisation document from USCIS and a Social Security document from the social security administration.
As earlier, the applying candidates need to submit the filled application form I-765 to the USCIS for employment authorization document, and after that, they need to request for the social security number by visiting the local social security office.
How to Get a Social Security Number
Application for employment authorisation now asks for some of the additional documents that enable the applying candidates to request the Social Security number or a replacement card without even visiting the social security office.
This rule will take effect from 07/17/17; candidates can also ask USCIS to transfer the collected additional data to the SSA for further processing. After that, applicants who get their EADs approved by the USCIS will also get the social security card from SSA within two weeks.
However, if you do not receive a dear social security card within two weeks, it’s better to connect with the social security office.
If you request the replacement of the social security card by filling the form capital I-765, it won’t affect your processing time for I-765. As the collected data will not be transmitted to SSA till USCIS approves your application form I-765.
How to Apply
F-1 Students with On-Campus Employment
The new students are required to fulfill all the steps under the “New Student Post-Arrival Checklist. Before proceeding to apply for the social security number waiting for ten working days.
To request for the social security number, you will require getting two letters from the UW before you visit the Social Administration office.
- The first letter will be the campus employment letter issued from your UW hiring department
- An SSN support letter from ISS
Follow the instructions below to ask for the request letter and then proceed to apply for the SSN.
Step 1: Campus Employment Letter
You can request the campus employment letter from the UW campus hiring department.
Provide them with the letter template that you got from the social security administration.
- The letter you received should contain an original signature from the hiring official.
- Your letter should be on the hiring department or UW letterhead.
Step 2: ISS Support Letter
After obtaining an on-campus employment letter, take and scan a photo of the letter properly.
Also, fulfill the support letter to apply for the separate ISS support letter for your SSN.
Step 3: ISS Processing Time
The processing time for the ISS will take up to 15 days. ISS will then check full-time status along with your eligibility for campus employment. Then ISS will provide you with the support letter for the SSN application.
Step 4: Receive SSN Support Letter
After that, ISS will send you the SSN support letter through mail.
Step 5: Appointment with Social Security Office
After that, the last step is to contact your local SSA office for scheduling an appointment to apply for the social security number in person; you should wait for at least 30 days prior to your scheduled employment start date for applying. There are several SSA offices with their COVID-related guidelines. For example, some consider original documents, whereas others only ask for scanned documents. Then it’s better to consult your local SSA office for instruction related to documents while making the appointment.
You will be required to bring the following documents with you while going for the appointment.
- Form I-20
- You require bringing the valid passport (along with your old passport only if it contains your F-1 visa)
- Form SS-5
- You must carry the fully scanned SSN support letter which contains the ISS DSO signs (if there is any issues while using the scanned letter at the SSA office, then you should tell this issue to the ISS)
- Original on-campus employment letter
- You will require bringing your I-94 card or a photocopy of the F-1 admission stamp in your passport and also carrying the copy of your electronic I-94 information, which you can easily get by visiting the https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/.
F-1 Students Authorized for Curricular Practical Training
If you forgot to request or did not request for the SSN, which is the important part of your OPT application, you should consult your local SSA office to arrange the appointment to request the social security number in person. You can apply for the SSN on or after the date you receive the EAD card. You will be required to carry the following documents with you:
- EAD card
- Form SS-5
- Form I-20 should be updated and endorsed for practical training.
- You will be required to carry the I-94 card or a valid copy of your passport containing the F-1 admission stamp and carry the printout of the electronic I-94 information, which you can easily find by visiting the https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/.
J-1 Students with On-Campus Employment
For this, you can visit the webpage of the On-Campus Employment” and follow every instruction to request on-campus employment permission for students who require SSN.
J-1 Students Authorized for Academic Training
You will need to get a document for the employment authorization from the ISS adviser or the sponsoring agency.
You can contact the local SSA office to schedule the appointment to request the social security number in person.
You will be required to carry some of the required documents with you:
- A valid passport
- Form DS-2019 with Academic Training notation
- You will need to bring the Form SS-5
- You must bring the I-94 card or a valid copy of your passport, which contains a J-1 admission stamp and the photocopy of the electronic I-94 information, which you can get at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/.
Also, make sure that the J-2 dependents having an employment authorization must carry the documents mentioned above along with the EAD card to request the social security number.
Apply for a Social Security Number for Immigrants
Apply for an SSN with your immigrant visa
You can apply for the Social Security card it is most important component of your Visa application. When you are filing this form DS-230 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) or Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application), when filing this application, you have the option to ask for the Social Security number.
If you are applying for any of these applications, you don’t have to apply for the Social Security number separately or neither you have to visit the social security office to apply.
After you arrive in the United States, the Social Security Administration will provide you with the Social Security number and the card. Also, they will send you the social security number card on the same US mailing address that you provided to the department of homeland security for delivering your green card. Once you arrived in the United States, you will receive your Social Security card within 3 to 4 weeks.
Within 3 to 4 weeks, if you didn’t receive the Social Security card by mail. Then you can directly connect with the social security executive by calling 18007721213.
Apply for an SSN when filing Form I-765
You have the option to apply for the Social Security number at the same time when you are going to apply for the employment authorization. If you are filling the form I-765 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), at the same time, you can also request the Social Security number.
Several DACA applicants or adjustment of status applicants usually prefer this method to apply for the Social Security number.
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Social security card lost/stolen
Social security card replacement
If your social security card is stolen or lost, you can get the replacement of your Social Security card for free by visiting the Social Security Administration website, or you can also apply for the replacement by visiting the SSA office or through the mail.
You can only apply for three replacement of your Social Security card in a year and ten replacements in your lifetime.
You will require following some of the below-mentioned steps to apply for the social security card replacement.
Step one: gather documentation.
You will be required to collect some of these original documents or a photocopy of issuing agency. Keep one thing in mind and the Social Security Administration does not consider notarized copies or photocopies. The required paperwork is given below:
Citizenship: you will have to show the evidence of your US citizenship, including a US passport or birth certificate.
Age: You will require two present the evidence of your age with the birth certificate, US passport, US hospital birth record or a religious record that was made before you turned five showing your date of birth.
Identity: you will have to prove your identity showing some of the documents, which may include documents like state-issued ID card, employee ID card, school ID card, military ID card, health insurance, US driver license, etc.
Ensure that all the submitted documents are up-to-date with a good validity period as Social Security Administration does not consider the documents or receive expired or shows that you have already applied for these documents.
Also make sure that the documents you are submitting should be in English language. If not you will require to hire a language translation service USA to translate your documents in English.
Step 2: Apply Online
After that, the other step is to fill the social security card application form online along with the supporting documents given above, or if you do not have the account, you can still create an SSA account to fill the application form for the replacement of the Social Security card.
Step 3: Visit the Local SSA Office
In the next step you are required to visit the local SSA office to request the replacement of your Social Security card. When you visit the local SSA office, you must bring the copy of the filled application form and the original documents to your local SSA office.
If you fill the replacement application form online, you will be redirected to the page to find the nearby SSA office in your area. You have the option to fill your application form online only if you meet the mentioned criteria.
For translating your immigrants documents into English you need to hire a certified language translation service.
Additional requirements for getting replacement card online
Yes, you have the option to apply for the replacement of the social security card online only if you are a US citizen or 18 years of age or older using the US mailing address. In addition, you should also you must have a driver license or state issued ID card issued from one of the territory.
If you successfully meet the eligibility criteria, you can create your SSA account by visiting the Social Security Administration website to apply for the replacement card.
False Numbers and Cards
If you have more than one Social Security number or have that Social Security number which was not actually issued to you. Then you are not granted to use that SSM number on any of your USCIS form till you take advice from your immigration lawyer.
If you are still using the false SSM number for the number which is not issued to you, then there are larger possibilities that your application will be rejected or, in some cases, legal action will be taken against you.
DACA Social Security Number
If you have given deferred for childhood arrivals and obtain the employment authorisation documents from USCIS. You can request for the social security number. SSN number helps you get the job, get eligible for Social Security benefits, and grant you some other government services.
It is one of the most important identification documents considered to get a driving license in several states. With DACA getting a social security number has become an easy task.
You will require carrying the additional proof of age and identity and EAD while visiting the social security office. However, you might also carry the certified copy or an original document of any of the following as proof of your age and identity:
- Foreign birth certificate
- Foreign passport
- S. military record
- S. military identification card
- Religious record showing age or date of birth
- S. driver license
- S. state-issued identification card
- School record showing age or date of birth
- School identification card
- Copy of medical record
Why is a Social Security number needed?
Social security numbers are usually granted to the people to work in the United States. It is also used to file the tax return. Also, at the time of opening the bank account, there are the majority of banks who ask for the social security number or evidence of application for the social security number.
How long will it take to receive my card?
You will receive the social security card through mail within four to six weeks after you submit the application. Therefore, it is essential that you should mention the right mailing address on your Form SS-5. The address should be accurate as there only you will get the delivery of the card.
If you changed your mailing address after submitting the application form, then you must inform regarding your present address to the social security administration either by calling or visiting the office.
If you do not have any present mailing address, your card will be sent to the InterExchange Work & Travel USA at 100 Wall Street, Suite 301, New York, NY 10005.
If I am a returning J-1 and have already been issued a Social Security number, do I need to reapply?
No, you are not required to reapply for the number. However, if your card is lost/stolen or you do not remember your card number, you will require applying for the replacement of the card by visiting the local social security office.
What to do if social Security Administration won’t accept my documents?
Social Security Administration will not consider any student application or documents if they have not registered their housing address in SEVIS. It has been suggested that you should visit the Social Security office 3 to 4 days after you have registered your housing address in SEVIS.
The Social Security Administration suggests waiting for minimum of ten days after you have arrived in the United States before you start applying. If still, your application or document does not gets accepted, then ask for the complete details from the Social Security office and send the report directly to the Interexchange by calling 1.800.621.1202.
What I should do if my Security card never arrives?
If you have entered your employers address on the application form SS-5 while applying for the Social Security card, it is recommended to first confirm if they have received the card. If not, it’s better to connect with their social security administration by calling 1800772 1213. If there is any update related to the application, it will be given on call.
If there is a problem with the application, you should call interexchange and send detailed information about the application and get the issue resolved. Also, you have the option to reapply for the social security card by visiting the local social security office, which you can easily get at www.ssa.gov/locator.
What does it cost?
You can apply for the security number and card free of cost.
What should I do if my immigration status or my citizenship changes?
If your immigration status changes to the lawful permanent resident (LPR), in such a case, you should be responsible to update the social security administration office regarding your present citizenship status so that they can update your record. While visiting the office, you will require carrying the evidence showing your new status.
FAQs: For Employers
What should be the employer’s responsibilities during hiring international visitors who don’t have Social Security numbers?
The employees have to recommend the employees to request for the social security number and card. If the applicant has already applied for the application but didn’t receive their social security number, you can ask the participant to show the valid photocopy of the receipt and retain the copy as evidence of the application.
You should also ask for some of the personal details from the participants such as date of birth, place of birth, father‘s full name, mother‘s full name, gender, the date when he or she applied for the Social Security number.
Can participants on the Summer Work Travel program are allowed to start working before getting their Social Security number?
The applicant can start working and get paid even before they receive their Social Security number. Therefore, every employer should advise the participants to request for their social security number as earliest as possible, but they should also wait for a minimum of 3 to 4 days after registration in the SEVIS.
However, the applicants need to show the proof of application a copy of the application, receipt and a copy of the application form (SS-5) to their assisting employer.
What to do if worker Social Security card arrives at my business after they have left?
In this situation, if you have an mailing address of the participant, then it’s better to mail their Social Security card to their given address directly. However, if you do not have the applicant’s address, you are required to mail the card at Interexchange Work & Travel USA, Attn: Social Security Information, 100 Wall Street, Suite 301, New York, NY 10005. From here, we will send the card to the participant.
What causes delays when Exchange Visitors apply for Social Security numbers?
If exchange visitors request for the Social Security number, then the Social Security Administration confirmed their document directly by sending it to the Department of Homeland security (DHS). Exchange visitors must be termed as active in SEVIS prior to Social Security Administration (SSA) provide them with a Social Security number.
Several applications gets approved immediately, but there can be delayed in some of the applications. Social Security understands the situation very well as they know that this process might affect those businesses who are choosing to hire exchange visitors but direct verification from DHS are essential to ensure the integrity of the social security number.
What if my Summer Work Travel employee doesn’t have a Social Security number when wage reports (Forms W-2) are due?
Paper Filers: if the participants request the social security card but did not octane the number in time for filing, they can write it as “Applied For” in Box A.
Electronic filers: if the candidate requests for the card but has yet not received the number in time for filing, they can key in all the zeros in the box of SSN.
Also, don’t forget to ask your employees for the exact name and number mentioned on the Social Security card when he or she obtains the card.
What if I receive the participant’s Social Security number after I have filed my wage report?
If you get your participants’ Social Security number after filing the base report, you must file W-2C (Corrected Wage and Tax Statement). To get further details related to this, you can visit the SSA website.