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

How To Get Your Social Security Number (SSN) with a K1 Visa

By Erika Presson
Last Updated: July 15, 2014


  • 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.

What is a Social Security Number (SSN) ?

This is a 9-digit number issued to an individual by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Simply put, this is your identification number. The most important one at that. This Social Security Number (SSN) is tied to anything and everything about you. Needless to say, this is a very sensitive number that only you and select few of your family should know (ie. Your Spouse).


So, okay. What am I supposed to do with it after?

You are NEVER supposed to give this number out to JUST ANYONE. This is connected to all the benefits you are getting, insurances, employment status, your immigration documents. Everything. Once given the number and SS Card, memorize it by heart and lock the card up in a secure location.



Because Identity Theft. Read about it.


Do I pay anything for getting an SSN?

No you don’t pay for anything. This is FREE.


When am I supposed to apply for an SSN?

You can apply at your local SSA Office as soon as two (2) weeks after your arrival in the US.


Until when can I apply for an SSN without my Green Card / EAD?

There must be at least 15 days left on your I-94 to be eligible to apply for an SSN. Any later than that, you would have to wait for your EAD/AOS Approval so you have your EAD Card / Green Card with you upon application.


Even if my fiancé(e) and I are not married yet?

Yes, even if you’re not married yet. You can change your name after you get married. Either you get into the SSA Office and present your marriage certificate for the name change OR wait for your EAD/AP Combo Card that has your married name on it (if you applied for AOS/EAD/AP in your married name that is).


Just outside the SSA Office, Grand Forks | Updated SS Card and North Dakota State ID. Double Check! WOOT! | ©2013 - onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (

Just outside the SSA Office, Grand Forks | Updated SS Card and North Dakota State ID. Double Check! WOOT! | ©2014 – onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (


What are the requirements in getting an SSN?

You would need the following:

  • Completed application form SS-5 (Note: Fiancée’s are “Legal Aliens Allowed To Work”. See link: RM 10211.530 List of Documents Establishing Lawful Alien Status for an SSN Card)
  • Original Foreign Birth Certificate (or Certified Original Copy)
  • Original Passport
  • K1 Visa
  • I-94 Arrival Record (from ***Make sure that your I-94 is not close to its expiration date! (Read the KnowledgeBase: Any difference between the K1 Visa expiry and I-94 expiration date?)
  • Marraige Certificate (For Name Changes)
  • If you already have applied for AOS/EAD/AP: Your EAD (I-766; Work Permit) is your document of legal presence and is valid for a year while waiting for your Permanent Resident Card / Green Card. This should replace your I-94. Read, print out, and HIGHLIGHT the necessary information on the following documents:
    • Go to and search the policy manual for “RM 10211.510 Actions Required When an Alien’s Status Changes”.
    • Go to and search the policy manual for “RM 10211.420 Employment Authorization for Non-immigrants”.


We’re already married and tried to apply for an SSN. I was not allowed to use my married name even if I already have my marraige certificate. Why so?

It depends on the SSA Office actually. Some are allowed to use their married names, some are not. But the SSA employee needs to run your name through their SAVE system. They will have to cross-check your name on your I-94 with SAVE.

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 (

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 (


What does SAVE stand for?

It means Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements. SAVE. According to the USCIS website, it is defined as:

A service that helps federal, state and local benefit-issuing agencies, institutions, and licensing agencies determine the immigration status of benefit applicants so only those entitled to benefits receive them. (from USCIS: SAVE)

My Updated (Married Name) SS Card arrived in the mail after 5 business days! | Updated SS Card and North Dakota State ID. Double Check! WOOT! | ©2013 - onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (

My Updated (Married Name) SS Card arrived in the mail after 5 business days! | Updated SS Card and North Dakota State ID. Double Check! WOOT! | ©2014 – onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (

I’ve already been previously issued a Social Security Card with restrictions saying “Valid for work only with DHS Authorization”. How do I lift this restriction?

You would need to go back to your local SSA Office to let them know that you already are a Lawful Permanent Resident when you get your I-551 Permanent Resident / Green Card if you are switching from an I-766 / EAD / Work Permit.

Read more about it here: Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes »

We have a new Facebook Group / Community! Please join us and keep us updated with your progress! You can also share information about scheduling and such. Ask questions if you want, but make sure you've read all the articles I've written and searched both the Facebook group and KnowledgeBase for answers first. KnowledgeBase is now up and running!
Read about it here »

If this website / blog has helped you in any way... Please read this post. :)

Are you looking for something else?




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

  1. Anna says:

    Hi Erika,

    I have been following your blog when I was just processing my visa. You helped a lot! Thank you so much. :)

    Now that I am here in the US for almost 9 mos. now. Currently in the AOS process.
    Just yesterday, I have found out that in the Social Security Card their system won’t accept a space between my two first names. Instead of Anna Marie for example the system did AnnaMarie.

    My husband said that the US only recognizes 3 names (esp. in Social Security) and this is conflicting how we Filipinas traditionally changes our name. So he is suggesting I will only use one name for my first name either Anna or Marie then my middle (My maiden last name) then my married name.

    I am thinking to drop my second first name… and just use Anna after I have my green card. Any thoughts on this? how you dealt with it? I would really love to still use my two first names. I am just worried that I will run on the same problem. Have read that Americans gets confused and mixing the names: thinking the second first name is a middle name… or the middle name and last name is one.

    I never had this problem in the Philippines before. CFO didn’t mention about this either. So I am personally lost. I didn’t want to drop my second first name but if I have to because it will make my life easier here in the US then I will.

    Thank you so much in advance. Any help is very much appreciated.

  2. Dmitri says:

    Hi Erika!

    Thank you so much for the information structured so well! But I have a question. We are planning to get married one week after my arrival. Could it be any problems with getting SSN taking into account that I will apply for it two weeks after arrival being already married. Also I am not going to change my last name, which I think could matter!

    • There shouldn’t be any problems with applying for an SSN after you get married. As long as you have the paperwork / requirements needed as outlined above. Also, even if you wanted to get an SSN before the 2-week period, you wouldn’t be able to do so – as already explained in the “SAVE” bit above.

      Now, not all SSA offices / employees are the same. Experiences varies. If they do not give you an SSN even if you have the necessary requirements, go to another SSA office. For a backup plan, Go to SSA’s website, print out pages from their handbook that support your case, highlight the items/statements that say you are indeed eligible to get an SSN.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Hi, I’ve found your blog extremely helpful. I am a US citizen and my fiance will be moving in the coming week. I will be taking his last name once we are married. Are you aware of if I should change my name, as the petitioner, right after we get married? Or is it better to wait until we get his green card? Any thoughts are appreciated.

    • Entirely up to you, when it is most convenient. We all know that name change processing times vary, especially with SSA. That being said, your name change documents can also be one of your husband-to-be’s evidences of relationship.

  4. Nida says:

    Ok,tnx a lot mrs presson..May i ask once again,, I applied for my green card with my maiden name so I received my green card with my maiden name,now,When I apply for a SS card,is this the time to change for my family name? Thanks !

  5. nida says:

    hi mrs. presson, I entered USA last september 10, 2015 and got married on October 9, 2015, I didnt apply for my SSN until I received my green card this February 1. And then, on February 2, I want to apply for my SSN/SS-card, my question is do I still need to submit/print out the I-94? thanks,pls respond,tnx a lot.

  6. Shery says:

    Hi Erika,

    Your blog has been a big help to me. I just want to ask if it is advisable to get an SS Card with my married name while we are still applying for the AOS. My husband is worried that it may conflict once I get an EAD or greencard. .. Sorry just a little confused.

    • A couple of things:

      • Some banks require the SSN when being added to a joint account / opening a new account.
      • Insurances WILL require you to have an SSN before being added onto anything.

      If you need to work on the above points, then yes. You might want to get a Social Security Number ASAP for as long as your I-94 is valid.

      Please re-read the above article about getting your SSN under your married name.

      The SSN is not a requirement for AOS. Needless to say, it will not affect your AOS.

      HOWEVER, You MUST take note of your I-94 expiration date as mentioned in the article above. You will not be allowed to get an SSN if your I-94 has expired and you would have to wait for your EAD/AP/GC to prove your legal presence in the U.S. and bring this with you to the SSA Office when you apply for an SSN.

  7. Anita says:

    I came to USA with a K1visa .After I got married and got my marriage certificate we went to apply for social security number.They told us that we can’t apply because I don’t have my employment authorization card. After a few months I received my employment card and went again.Now they’re telling me that I can’t apply because my I-94 is expired and I have to wait for the green card. Can someone point me into the right direction please.

  8. rona says:

    Hi. When filing for SSN ( After atleast 2 wks of arrival in US), is it possible to acquire a temporary copy upon 1st application? Do they give you your SS number or do you really have to wait for the card to be mailed to you before you know your number. Thanks

  9. Randy Sweet says:

    A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of your Blog. Very comprehensive and very well written. It helped me with a few questions I have when we enter the US. Mostly the SSN and Medical.

    We are currently gathering documents for the Embassy interview. So far our process has gone much smoother than yours did so we have been lucky. USCIS only took a few days before sending it to CSC and they only took maybe a little more than two weeks to send it to the NVC and the NVC only took 1 month to send it on it’s way to the Embassy in Bangkok.

    It amazes me how many people get a lawyer. Lawyers often end up making mistakes or taking there time moving things along, when all a petitioner has to do is a little research and some very careful reading…several times if need be.

    Thanks for the time it took you to write this up.

    • Hi Randy!

      You’re welcome! :) I’m glad that my blog has helped you with your questions.

      During our time with the petition / visa / AOS processes, I had to read numerous websites, forums, and such. This process is very much straightforward. All you need to do is read a lot. But mostly, I stuck to the official government websites (with information scattered all around and I had to reorganize everything), and my personal experience. I understand how frustrating it can be, hence why I made this blog – to ‘demystify’ the process and of course, educate the public about the K1 Fiance Visa route, hopefully remove the ‘stigma’ that comes along with it. There are shows on TV that don’t do us all justice.

      If you really didn’t have problems with US Immigration before or don’t really have ‘snags’ with the law before, this process can be done by yourself and your fiance. Lawyers are pretty much doing the same thing – just filling up your paperwork and sending it out.

      Not everyone has the money to spend for a lawyer, and you also have to think about future processes which are very expensive, not counting miscellaneous expenses as noted here – What is the total amount of fees from I-129F Fiancee Petition to K1 Visa to AOS to ROC to Citizenship?

      I’ve written all the pertinent information that’s needed to process everything, from I-129F to the K1 Visa Stage to AOS, and soon ROC (I will be undergoing this early next year!) Feel free to browse around. :)

      Good luck!

    • You might also want to check this page out. I just published it today: Update your Social Security Card when your Status Changes

  10. Jeli says:

    hi Erika

    is the anyway i can check my green card and son if it s on process?
    the asks website asking me for a receipt number. where can i find that number?

    thanks and more power


What do you think?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: