How To Get Your Social Security Number (SSN) with a K1 Visa
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- 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! | ©2014 – onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)
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 CBP.gov) ***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 http://www.ssa.gov and search the policy manual for “RM 10211.510 Actions Required When an Alien’s Status Changes”.
- Go to http://www.ssa.gov 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 (www.mrspresson.com)
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! | ©2014 – onwards, Life As Mrs. Presson (www.mrspresson.com)
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 »
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