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Former J-1 au pair returning to U.S. as student but forgot SSN

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I'm posting on behalf of a friend. She worked in the U.S. last year as an au pair on a J-1 visa. Her program ended and she went home. She's now getting ready to file taxes and she both lost her Social Security card and doesn't remember her number.

How can she recover her Social Security number? When she returns to the U.S., will she be eligible to receive a replacement Social Security card? She was just admitted to an exchange program and will soon apply for a student visa. As an exchange student (either for one semester or one year, I don't recall), I'm assuming she won't be able to work, and as a non-citizen I'm under the impression that precludes her from getting a replacement SS card but I'm not positive. But as your SSN "follows you for life," she'll presumably use her old number, when recovered, to open a new bank account and whatnot.

Thanks for any help!

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I think a person can contact SS, and after answering enough questions to prove identity,

they could receive their number.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Time Line - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

10 Year Green Card Process

July 22, 2017  ROC packet sent to Vermont.

July 24, 2017  ROC packet signed for in Vermont.

August 8, 2017  NOA received at house.  15 days since ROC signed for in VT.

August 12, 2017 ASC appointment received. 19 days since ROC in VT.

August 25, 2017 BIO completed. 32 days since ROC received in VT.

August 11, 2018  18 month 'Courtesy Copy' extension letter received.  Critical number  297

October 20, 2018 18 month 'Official' extension letter received.  Critical number 297

September - October 2018  10 year card expected ????

- - - - - - - -

Service Center: VSC
First 5 Digits EAC 17297
NOA1 Date: July 24, 2017
Filed N-400: Not yet

Case Transferred: Not yet

Approved?: Not yet

     If yes, did you have a RFE? Not yet.  On what date?:

     If yes, did you have an interview? On what date?:

Received 18 month extension letter on August 11, 2018

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I think a person can contact SS, and after answering enough questions to prove identity,

they could receive their number.

That's my guess too, but in my friend's specific case, she is currently living in her home country and wants to file her taxes before the April 15th deadline. She won't be in the U.S. until the fall semester, with this summer being the earliest she would arrive.

I'm assuming it is also a good idea for her to have her SSN handy during her upcoming student visa application/interview at the U.S. Embassy.

She closed her U.S. bank account upon leaving the U.S. and I'm not sure how she could verify her identity with them from abroad since you verify your identity by confirming your SSN in most cases. I've instructed her to contact her host family and au pair agency in case they have the information on file.

I don't think the SSA can do much for non-citizens currently living abroad.

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I had the exact same problem! I had to go to the American Consulate, specifically the American Citizen Services (ACS). They identified me as me (by my passport, and I had to be there in person) and gave me the number on a piece of paper.

You do not get an actual replacement card without the work permit, even if you had one before.

Yes, the ACS deals with non-US-citizens in their home country (in my case, German in Germany). Don't be misled by the name!

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I had the exact same problem! I had to go to the American Consulate, specifically the American Citizen Services (ACS). They identified me as me (by my passport, and I had to be there in person) and gave me the number on a piece of paper.

OK, so there is the solution. I figured it wouldn't be impossible.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Time Line - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

10 Year Green Card Process

July 22, 2017  ROC packet sent to Vermont.

July 24, 2017  ROC packet signed for in Vermont.

August 8, 2017  NOA received at house.  15 days since ROC signed for in VT.

August 12, 2017 ASC appointment received. 19 days since ROC in VT.

August 25, 2017 BIO completed. 32 days since ROC received in VT.

August 11, 2018  18 month 'Courtesy Copy' extension letter received.  Critical number  297

October 20, 2018 18 month 'Official' extension letter received.  Critical number 297

September - October 2018  10 year card expected ????

- - - - - - - -

Service Center: VSC
First 5 Digits EAC 17297
NOA1 Date: July 24, 2017
Filed N-400: Not yet

Case Transferred: Not yet

Approved?: Not yet

     If yes, did you have a RFE? Not yet.  On what date?:

     If yes, did you have an interview? On what date?:

Received 18 month extension letter on August 11, 2018

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