Work Authorization and Social Security Number Can Now Be Obtained Simultaneously
Foreign nationals can now apply for work authorization and a Social Security number at the same time using the new updated Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. The revised form includes additional questions that allow applicants to apply for a Social Security number or request a duplicate card if they’ve had one lost or stolen without having to visit a Social Security office. This streamlined process is thanks to a new information-sharing partnership between U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
From here on out, applicants who receive their approved employment authorization document (EAD) from USCIS should receive their Social Security card from SSA within the following two weeks. It is important to note that previous versions of the Form I-765 will not be accepted as of Dec. 3, 2017.
Social Security Numbers for Noncitizens Q & A
Q: What is a Social Security number?
A: Social Security numbers are used to report an individual’s wages to the government and to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits.
Q: Who is eligible to receive a Social Security number?
A: Generally, only noncitizens authorized to work in the U.S. can get a Social Security number.
Q: Why do I need a Social Security number?
A: A Social Security number is required to work, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other governmental services.
Q: Are there any governmental benefits and services that don’t require a Social Security number?
A: Yes. A Social Security number is not required to get a driver’s license, register for school, get private health insurance, or apply for school lunch programs or subsidized housing.
Q: How can I get a Social Security number and card?
A: As noted above, a nonimmigrant can now apply for a Social Security number on the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. You may also visit a local Social Security office and apply in person.
Q: How much does it cost to apply for a Social Security number and card?
A: Applying for a Social Security number and card is free.
Q: What if I need a Social Security number, but I am not authorized by DHS to work in the U.S.?
A: If you aren’t authorized to work in the U.S., you can still get a Social Security number if you prove you need it for a valid non-work reason. This may occur if a state or federal law requires you to have a number to get benefits to which you have already established entitlement.
Q: What if I need a number for tax purposes?
A: If you need a number for tax purposes and you aren’t authorized to work in the U.S., you can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
If you have questions on working in the United States and would like to explore your options, please call our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!