Obtaining A Social Security Card As An Immigrant

  • 2 years   ago
Obtaining A Social Security Card As An Immigrant

A social security number is mandatory for all people to get because it is a form of identification. It is required to be registered with the government by law and it is a 9 digit number. The first three numbers represent the state where you applied for it, and the other numbers are just unique numbers. The social security number consists of three different parts including the AREA, GROUP, and SERAL.

Why You Need A Social Security Card

Having a social security card is important for many different reasons and as soon as you arrive in the U.S. it is important to get a social security card immediately. This card was originally meant for identification purposes but now it is worth much more than that. You need a social security card to perform daily activities in your life. When you need to go to a doctor's office you will usually be asked to present your social security card. It is used for insurance and billing purposes and to be sure your medical information is not being used by an unauthorized person. Getting a job also requires you to have this card because employers are required to use your social security number for wage reporting. Your employer also needs proof that you are eligible to work in the USA. If you are looking to get a new credit card, you will need to give your social security card number to your card issuer so that they can verify your creditworthiness. Even if you want to open an account at a bank, your social security card will be needed because banks need to verify your identity to report your account interest to the IRS, to verify your creditworthiness, and in case you forgot your account number. If you are attending college, you may be asked for your card because the school needs to be sure of your identity and ensure that you are able to attend school in the U.S. You will also need to have a social security card so that your wages can be reported to the government and to determine your eligibility for Social Security benefits. You will also need this to work, collect benefits, and other governmental services.


How To Get A Social Security Card

Getting a social security card for immigrants is not a complicated procedure. You can find the nearest Social Security Administration Office and fill out a Form SS-5 there. You can go online to www.ssa.gov and find a form on the website, print it out and then bring it with you to the social security office. You will present documents including your identity card, passport, and immigration status.

When you are not a U.S. citizen, you will be asked for Form I-551, I94, and a work permit card from the Department of Homeland Security. You should also provide proof of employment eligibility such as a job offer letter, Employment Authorization Document, or I-20 endorsed for CPT.

Keeping Your Social Security Number Private

It is important to keep your social security number private as much as you can because if anyone has access to this number, they can access all your professional and personal information. It is possible for fraud to occur and then a person can use your social security number to access your credit accounts, utility records, bank accounts, and other information. The Internal Revenue Service uses this number as an identifier when processing your tax returns and is considered your "tracking number."

Social Security Number For Green Card Holders

Before coming to the U.S., you can apply for a Visa Application and a Green Card. The Department of Homeland Security will coordinate to issue a social security card. After you come to the U.S. you will receive your social security card by mail 3 weeks later. If you do not receive your card in 3 weeks, you should notify the social security office that you did not receive it or if you changed your address. If you are not in this situation, you can go to a local social security office and present your birth certificate and passport with the Machine-Readable Immigrant Visa or Permanent Resident Card. It will take at least 2 weeks to get your card in the mail if you do it this way.

The Different Types of Social Security Cards

There is a different type of social security card for immigrants and you may come across one of three different types of social security cards when applying for one. The first one is the one known to millions of people, it has your name and social security number and allows you to work. This is issued to noncitizens who are given permission to work and live permanently in the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security. This goes for refugees and green card holders as well. The second type of card is issued to people who are allowed to work and live in the United States for only a temporary time. It will say "valid for work only with DHS authorization." The third type of social security card is issued to noncitizens who need a social security number but are not allowed to work in the United States. This social security card will say "not valid for employment" on it. Another option for you is to apply for a card in your home country before coming to the United States while filing for an application for an immigrant visa. If you use your immigrant visa application to apply for a social security card, then you are not required to go to a social security office when you get to the United States. Under certain circumstances, if you are a non-U.S. citizen and you leave the United States, you still may receive social security benefits. Normally the Social Security Administration stops making payments to non-U.S. citizens after they have been out of the United States for 6 months in a row. Although, the U.S. has international agreements with multiple countries which allows non-U.S. citizens to keep receiving payments even if they live abroad permanently. These countries include Australia, Japan, Canada, Korea, and Europe. If your payments have been stopped after leaving the country for a certain amount of time, to restart these payments over again you just have to come back to the U.S. for a full month. If your spouse becomes a U.S. citizen for at least 5 years while you guys were married, then they too will qualify for social security. It does not matter if you move away to a different country in the future or if your spouse is a citizen in a different country.

If you are in the United States and do not have a social security card or number, this can be a very complicated situation. It is a common way to identify yourself and to receive many benefits from the government. Applying for a social security card is a fairly easy process and it does not take a lot of time for it to come in the mail. It is far easier to get a social security card and have it with you in case you need it to open a bank account or go to a doctor than not having one at all. The Social Security Administration Office can be very helpful when guiding you on what you need to have to apply for a social security card. There are also resources online that can help you apply for this type of card.