How To Apply For SSN Social Security Number in USA
Before I applied for SSN, I made sure that I’m here in the US already for 2 weeks. This was to make sure that my record of arrival was already in the SAVE-ASVI system. If you insist to get SSN even if you don’t have a record yet, SSA office would need to file a G-845 with the USCIS to manually verify your record. That may take days so you better just avoid that. But also, don’t wait too long until your I-94 is already about to expire (14 days prior to expiration date) because SSA won’t allow you to get a social security number until you get a green card.
Why do you need to have a SSN? According to Wikipedia, its primary purpose is to track individuals for taxation purposes. It is also like your identification. You would also need this for your employment, opening a bank account, etc. The first time I used this was when me and my now husband, then fiancé, applied for marriage license.
As a K1 Visa Holder, these are the documents I prepared before I went to the nearest SSA office to apply for SSN:
1. Passport with my K1 Visa and valid I-94 in it
2. Another form of ID (I brought my Postal ID but it was never asked)
3. Bring a printed copy of https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0110211530 (some SSA officers aren’t really aware that K1 Visa holders can get SSN so this document will prove that you are eligible)
4. Fill out the form SS-5 or fill it out at the SSA office
5. Don’t forget to bring a pen!
I applied for a SSN on December 12th, 2011, a month after I arrived. I was told that I’d get it in about 2 weeks or 10 business days but I got it in just 3 days! The process didn’t take too long; I only waited for a few minutes.
And these were some few questions that were asked by a SSA officer:
1. Have you ever had any work here in the US?
2. Ever went to a US school, college, university?
3. Have you ever visited USA before November 12th, 2011?
4. Have you ever opened a US bank account?
All my answers were no and I could say that throughout my process so far, that was the easiest. For more information, go to http://www.ssa.gov