MrsPresson.com | I-129F Petition, K1 Fiance(e) Visa, AOS Guides
MrsPresson.com | I-129F Petition, K1 Fiance(e) Visa, AOS Guides
MrsPresson.com | I-129F Petition, K1 Fiance(e) Visa, AOS Guides
MrsPresson.com | I-129F Petition, K1 Fiance(e) Visa, AOS Guides

Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes

By Erika Presson
Last Updated: July 7, 2015


READ THESE IMPORTANT NOTES BEFORE SCROLLING DOWN TO THE ARTICLE:

  • The reader has the DUTY/RESPONSIBILITY to verify information from the aforementioned government agencies on their own - Not through hearsays, forums, or blogs (YES, including this blog). Please read my disclaimer here.
  • Make sure you've read ALL the articles under the "Immigration" Menu up top, because I've written and covered all pertinent information about the whole I-129F/K1/AOS/ROC Processes.
  • Search through Frequently Asked Questions about the whole process from I-129F - K1 Visa - AOS - ROC and other processes. Read about the KnowledgeBase here »
  • The articles found on this blog are applicable to all I-129F Petitions, K1 Visa Applicants, AOS (from a K1 Visa), and ROC applicants unless otherwise noted. The I-129F Process and AOS is the same for all foreign beneficiaries/spouses. Some K1 Visa Process articles are written specifically for applicants from the Philippines. Please refer to your country's U.S. Consulate/Embassy website for country-specific instructions.





There are 2 Types of Social Security Cards that are applicable to a K1 Visa Holder:

 

  1. “Valid only with DHS Work Authorization”

    This is given to K1 Visa Holders if they have applied for a Social Security Number / SSN before or right after marriage – whether it’s under their maiden name or married name, with or without the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) / Work Permit.

    Obviously, you cannot use this Social Security Card for employment if you didn’t apply for EAD in the first place.

    If you were issued a Social Security Card under your maiden name, you can change your SS Card to your married name when you receive your EAD.

    You can read more about this here: How to get your Social Security Number (SSN) with a K1 Visa »

  2. Non-restricted Social Security Card

    This is given to K1 Visa Holders who have undergone the process of Adjustment of Status (AOS) and has been approved to become a Permanent Resident. As evidence of this Permanent Residency, we all are given the I-551 Permanent Resident / Green Card.

    This Social Security Card will bear no other marks on the top part, and will only indicate your Social Security Number, Name, and Signature Line.

Why do we need to lift the conditions / restrictions on the Social Security Card?

When you need to apply for a US Credit Card to build your credit score, or apply for Insurances, or other paperwork that requires a Social Security Card to be submitted/presented, some applications would require a non-restricted card.

It is important to note that when your Immigration Status changes from non-immigrant (K1 Visa) to Permanent Resident (AOS Approval / Green Card recipient), that your Social Security Card’s restrictions can be lifted.

 

Updating your Name and Lifting Restrictions on your Social Security Card

To illustrate, I have here the Social Security Card that I received right after getting married. It was in my maiden name since I wasn’t allowed to use my married name, even if I had my Marriage Certificate with me. The SSA Employee said that it should exactly match the one on my I-94 and that I can go back and change it after I already have my EAD / Work Permit.

The Social Security Card with "Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization" I received after we got married. This was under my Maiden Name exactly as how it was on my I-94. | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 - onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

The Social Security Card with “Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization” I received after we got married. This was under my Maiden Name exactly as how it was on my I-94. | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 – onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

So I did go back months later to have my married name reflected on my Social Security Card. You will also notice that my Social Security Card still has the mark “Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization”. The EAD Card, doesn’t exactly prove Permanent Residence. It is proof of Legal Presence, because you are allowed to work in the US, but the Green Card is needed to lift the conditions on the card.

The Social Security Card with "Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization" I received after I got my EAD / Work Permit. This was under my Married Name exactly as how it was on EAD/AP Combo Card. | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 - onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

The Social Security Card with “Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization” I received after I got my EAD / Work Permit. This was under my Married Name exactly as how it was on EAD/AP Combo Card. | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 – onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

I only went back to the SSA Office to have the conditions lifted on my card just recently because I’ve only remembered it about a few months ago, when we tried to apply for a Joint Credit Card. The banker was looking for my “unrestricted” card. I’ve only gotten the chance to have the conditions lifted on my Social Security Card recently because I work during weekdays.

The "Unrestricted" Social Security Card I received after I showing my Permanent Resident Card / Green Card. | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 - onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

The “Unrestricted” Social Security Card I received after I showing my Permanent Resident Card / Green Card. | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 – onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

At first, when I showed up at the SSA Office and talked to the SSA Employee, she said my Social Security Card was ok, and I should be able to use it WITH my Green Card. But I told her, I’ve read their policy manual online and showed her the printed copies with highlights that I’m due to update my card when I change my Immigration Status, now that I am a Permanent Resident.

I gave her the following:

  • Old Social Security Cards (for their reference and shredding)
  • My I-551 Permanent Residenct Card / Green Card
  • Printed copy of the SSA Policy Manual highlighting the “Change in Alien Status” information and requirements needed to lift conditions on the Social Security Card.

 

SSA Resources

Just in case you need to lift the conditions on your Social Security Card, print the documents that I will mention below and bring it with you on your trip to the SSA Office.

These were the resources I found on the Social Security Administration website. Somehow, I cannot link it directly from here.

  • First, you’d have to go to http://www.ssa.gov and search for “Change in Alien Status”.

    Search for "Change in Alien Status" under "Policy Manual" | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 - onwards, Social Security Administration, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

    Search for “Change in Alien Status” under “Policy Manual” | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 – onwards, Social Security Administration, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

  • Next, make sure that you are under “Policy Manual” and click on the link saying, “RM 10211.510 Actions Required When an Alien’s Status Changes”.
  • Print the entire page.

    SSA RM 10211.510 - Actions Required when an Alien's Status Changes | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 - onwards, Social Security Administration, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

    SSA RM 10211.510 – Actions Required when an Alien’s Status Changes | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 – onwards, Social Security Administration, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

  • Scroll down to the Letter C, number 1 “Alien is now allowed to work”, letter c “Legend on SSN card based on evidence of employment authorization”

    SSA RM 10211.510 - Actions Required when an Alien's Status Changes | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 - onwards, Social Security Administration, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

    SSA RM 10211.510 – Actions Required when an Alien’s Status Changes | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 – onwards, Social Security Administration, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

  • Click on “RM 10211.025, for LPR evidence”.
  • Print the entire page.

    SSA RM 10211.025 - Evidence of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status for an SSN Card | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 - onwards, Social Security Administration, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

    SSA RM 10211.025 – Evidence of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status for an SSN Card | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 – onwards, Social Security Administration, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

  • Highlight the necessary lines and bring this document with you.

    SSA RM 10211.025 - Evidence of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status for an SSN Card | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 - onwards, Social Security Administration, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

    SSA RM 10211.025 – Evidence of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status for an SSN Card | Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes | ©2015 – onwards, Social Security Administration, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)

  • REMINDER: Only show these documents if they refuse to lift the conditions on your Social Security Card.


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13 Comments

(Please click on "Show Replies" to read other comments/replies)


  1. Mrs. Martin says:

    Hi Erika! I applied for my SSN before the wedding & when i went back to SSA for a NAME CHANGE, they said that the ONLY way for them to do it was with my GREENCARD. MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE isn’t counted. It’s a good thing to know though that I don’t have to fill out their FORMS when i go back. I am in the STATE OF HI & i guess it varies from state to state? I may be right, i may be wrong. But anyways, thank you for your awesome blog. It HELPED me & my husband throughout the PROCESS. GOD BLESS YOU!

    • Does not depend per State, it varies per SSA office/SSA Employee as mentioned on the other SSN article I posted. Good luck!

    • Does not depend per State, it varies per SSA office/SSA Employee as mentioned on the other SSN article I posted. Once you have an EAD/AP Card, that should be good enough as that means Homeland Security already has your name change on file. Good luck!

  2. Hi Erika,
    I have a previously issued SSN/card (that I received years ago when in the US on internship) – my card also states “Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization”. I’m confused as to when I need to get this updated. I am in the process of completing my AOS package. Do I wait until I have received my EAD card in approximately 3 months or do I wait the 2 years before I get my Green Card? I have decided to keep my last name and not take my spouses.

    • You will not be able to lift those conditions on the SS Card with just the EAD – Only the 2-year Conditional Green Card will be able to lift that condition, as already stated on the documents above.

  3. steve James says:

    Very useful information, I am in the process of updating my SSN, once I can get time off work. May I ask whether they change your SSN number on your updated card? I am concerned that I will have to update all my documentation if this is the case especially for work and stuff.

  4. I meant, i already applied to remove conditions on social security number card. i applied on May 23 and was informed that they have to verify my information with USCIS. How many days do i have to wait to receive my new unrestricted son card?

    it looks forever, because we want to buy a house :(

    • This all depends with USCIS and the SSA now. This is something you have no control over but to keep following up with them.

      Getting an unrestricted card usually is as easy as applying for the SSN itself. Like what I mentioned above, I printed out the SSA Handbook Articles that pertained to my change of status and this definitely helped updating my SS Card. I got a “push back” from the SSA Employee at first for requesting the conditions to be lifted, but when I showed her the handbook article, she had no way out but to honor my request.

      You can try another SSA Office and print out the SSA articles from the SSA.gov website itself. Do not print directly from my blog. Make sure the headers and footers reflect the website “ssa.gov” and the article link. Make sure you go to SSA.gov and search for the articles mentioned above. Follow the steps and requirements above and see if they budge. Good luck!

  5. Meg says:

    Your blog has been helpful to us! I applied my SSN weeks before our wedding using my maiden name. We just got married and going to file for AOS. When do you think is the best time to update my name and apply for state ID? Thanks!

    • For updating name on SSN (if you already have an SS Card): Please read http://mrsprsn.us/SSN

      For Driver’s License/State ID: You will not be issued a State ID if your I-94 is close to expiring / has expires / AOS is pending. You must have your EAD/AP before you can be issued a State ID / Driver’s License.

      For updating lifting conditions on SSN Status: Please read the above article. It requires a Green Card (Successful AOS).

  6. irie says:

    is there any payment for lifting my ssn application? can I do it online?


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