- A social security number is required for a driver’s license as well as opening a new bank account
- No application fee
- Photocopies and notarized copies of documents are not acceptable
When you move to the USA, one of the first things you will need is a Social Security Sumber (SSN). This is a 9-digit number issued to all American citizens and eligible residents of the USA.
Most people use the same SSN throughout their lives. However, instances of identity theft, a replacement social security number may be issued. Read on to find out more about why you need SSN and how to apply for it.
Why Do You Need A Social Security Number?
The US government tracks the earnings and work experience of a US resident or citizen through their social security number.
Later, if you are eligible for social benefits such as a disability pension the amount you are eligible for will be calculated based on the data associated with your SSN.
Some of the instances when you will need to provide this number are:
- To open a new bank account
- To apply for a loan
- To apply or a driver’s license
- To apply for public benefits such as disability income or unemployment benefits
- To apply for an American passport
- To enroll in Medicare
- To file taxes
Are you Eligible For A USA Social Security Number?
The eligibility of the document varies according to the type of visa a person holds.
- The student must be authorized for on-campus employment
- The student must be authorized for Curricular Practical Training (C.P.T.) or Optional Practical Training (O.P.T.)
- All scholars and students are automatically eligible for a Social Security number.
- The applicant must have applied for work authorization and received their Employment Authorization Document (E.A.D.).
- All skilled workers are automatically eligible for a Social Security number.
F 2 dependents and H4 dependents are not eligible for SSN
How To Apply For A USA SSN?
There are 2 ways non-citizens can apply for a Social Security number.
Applicants who are over the age of 18 years can apply for an SSN when applying for an immigrant visa from their home country. The SS card will be mailed to the applicant’s address three weeks after they reach the USA.
Immigrants or residents who do not have a social security number can apply for the same when they can prove legal immigration status and have work authorization.
The application may be submitted to a Social Security office in the US. It is recommended to wait for at least 10 days after arriving in the country to apply for this.
Documents Required To Apply For SSN In The USA
To apply for SSN you must have:
- A completed application SS-5 form
- Originals of 2 documents proving identity, age, immigration status, and work eligibility. Some of the acceptable documents are:
- Immigrant visa
- Work permit
- Employment-based admission stamp
- I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
- Birth certificate
In addition, foreign exchange visitors and international students need:
- DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status for visitors with J visas
- Most recent I-20 Certificates of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status for international students
- Documentation to prove J1, J2, F1 and M1 visa holder’s ability to take on part-time work
It is important to note that all applicants must present their original documents. Notarized copies and photocopies are not accepted. There is no cost associated with applying for an SSN.