To lawfully work in the United States, some foreign workers need both an employment authorization document (EAD) from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), and a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Prior to October, 2017, such applicants needed to 1) submit a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to USCIS for an EAD, and 2) apply in person at their local social security office to obtain an SSN.
In October, 2017, a new information-sharing partnership between USCIS and SSA enabled certain categories of foreign workers to simultaneously apply for work authorization and an SSN using a single form, the updated Form I-765, without visiting a social security office. Once the EAD application is approved, USCIS sends the request electronically to SSA, which then assigns a number and issues a new card by mail directly to the applicant at the address listed on the form.
USCIS recently announced that it has expanded its partnership with SSA in an effort to show its commitment to operating the U.S. immigration system more efficiently. Under the expanded information-sharing partnership, applicants filing for lawful permanent resident status (green card) are now able to apply for an SSN or replacement card as part of the adjustment of status application process. Previously, these applicants needed to 1) submit a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to USCIS for a legal permanent resident card (green card), and 2) apply in person at their local Social Security office to obtain an SSN or replacement card.
The expanded information-sharing partnership between USCIS and SSA has now enabled applicants to simultaneously apply for lawful permanent resident status and an SSN or a replacement card by using a single form, the updated Form I-485, without visiting a social security office. Once the EAD application is approved, USCIS sends the request electronically to SSA, which then assigns a number and issues a new card by mail or sends a replacement card directly to the applicant at the address listed on the form.
An SSN is required to work, collect social security benefits, and receive other government services. It is also required by some states to issue a driver’s license. An SSN is not required to register for school, obtain private health insurance, or apply for school lunch programs or subsidized housing.
If you have any questions about applying for a social security card or any immigration matter, please contact our attorneys at the Law Offices of Azita M. Mojarad, P.C. Our experienced immigration attorneys can address your concerns and advise you of the proper course of action.