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Step-by-Step Guide to getting a Social Security Number (SSN)
These are the basic steps required to obtain a SSN for a K1, K3, or derivative Visa holder. These steps should be followed as a guideline and not as specific requirements for any given case. Every case is unique and this does not address that uniqueness.
is unique and this does not address that uniqueness.



Preparation:

Download the Following Forms:
1. Application for a Social Security Card (SS-5)
2. I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (K-2, K-3, and K-4 Visa Holders Only)

The above forms can be filled out on your computer and printed. Make sure you sign and date it as required. Anything you cannot fit by typing, you can handwrite after you print it (very neatly) in black ink instead.

Print the following webpage out (K-1 Visa Holder Only):
>> RM 10211.530


Find your local Social Security Agency (SSA) Office:
Click here to Find your SSA Office

Reminder:

On the visa application Form DS-230 (expires 7/31/2007), you saw the following offer:

"Do you want the Social Security Administration to assign you an SSN (and issue a card) or issue you a new card (if you have an SSN)? You must answer "Yes" to this question and to the "Consent To Disclosure" in order to receive an SSN and/or card."

Please note that this program is ONLY for Immigrant Visa holders (CR-1, etc). If you checked this box, a Social Security number will NOT be generated for you if you are a K-visa holder. As a K-visa holder, use the following guide to get your first, or replacement, Social Security number/card. If you have ever had a Social Security number, that is your number for life; you will need to visit your SSA office to get new card with the same number.


The Application Process:

:: For K1 Visa Holders ::

As a K-1 Visa Holder you are eligible to receive a SSN upon producing a valid I-94 (unexpired). Do
not wait until you only have a few weeks left until your I-94 expires to file for a SSN. Many SSA
offices will not allow you to file for a SSN if your I-94 is about to expire (generally 14 days prior
to the expiration on your I-94). On the other hand, you should also not file for a SSN too soon either.
You should wait 2 weeks after you arrived in the US before applying for a SSN. If you go too soon your
record of arrival will not be in the SAVE-ASVI system yet, and it will require manual verification from the
USCIS. As this will add weeks to the period it takes to process the SSN, it is advisable to attempt to wait the two weeks to be safe. If you have waited the 2 weeks and they tell you they can not verify you arrival record via the SAVE database, you may allow them to to process it (but remember the potential delay for manual verifications). You can ask if they will check the computer again for you in a few days or return personally to have them look again -- thus eliminating the manual verification. The manual verification will require the SSA office to file a G-845 with the USCIS.

To apply for a SSN you will need to go to your local SSA office and bring the documents below. These
documents are proof of your eligibility to file for a SSN:

1.
The SS-5 form you downloaded and filled out (they have some at the office if you forget).
2.
your Passport (with the K-1 Visa in it)
3.
your valid I-94: Electronic I-94 Copy; or (for older entries) an original (and bring a front/backside copy) of a valid paper I-94
4.
another form of valid ID (as defined in the SS-5 instructions)
5.
You should also bring the document RM 10211.530 that you printed out

Make sure to bring all the documents above because some offices have staff that are not aware
that a K-1 Visa Holder is eligible to file for a SSN. A friendly reminder is a nice thing to have -- if not
you could be turned away incorrectly.

Once you have successfully applied for your SSN, the SSN card will come in the mail in about 2 weeks. You can check on the status of the SSN application and/or often get the SSN in advance by returning in person (try calling) to the SSA office. If you need your SSN before it arrives in the mail you may ask them for an SSA-7028, Notice to Third Party of Social Security Number Assignments, to be sent to your employer or other interested third party once a SSN has been assigned. Your card, when you receive it, will be marked with the words "VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION" indicating to an employer that you must also have an unexpired EAD to be eligible to work.

:: For K2, K3, K4 Visa Holders ::

As a holder of a K2, K3 or K4 visa you must first have an EAD from the USCIS. You will be required to
show this to the SSA agency to be eligible to receive a SSN.

To apply for a SSN you will need to go to your local SSA office and bring:

1.
The SS-5 form you downloaded and filled out (they have some at the office if you forget).
2.
Passport (with the K-2, K-3, or K-4 Visa in it)
3.
your valid I-94: Electronic I-94 Copy; or (for older entries) an original (and bring a front/backside copy) of a valid paper I-94
4.
another form of valid ID (as defined in the SS-5 instructions)
5.
A valid EAD

Only persons age 12 and older must apply in person. A derivitive visa beneficiary (K2 for example) may
elect to have their parent (the K1 for example) apply on their behalf (they will still need all the required
documents). The SSA will most likely need to verify the validity of the EAD and will make a copy to send to the USCIS as part of the SSN processing. Once they verify the EAD you will receive your SSN card in the mail.

You can check on the status of your SSN application and/or often get the SSN in advance by returning in person to the SSA office. If you need your SSN before it arrives in the mail you may ask them for an SSA-7028, Notice to Third Party of Social Security Number Assignments, to be sent to your employer or other interested third party once a SSN has been assigned. Your card, when you receive it, will be marked with the words "VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION" indicating to an employer that you must also have an unexpired EAD to be eligible to work.