How to Apply for Social Security Number for a K1 Visa Holder

If you are not an American citizen and interested in working in the U.S. you will need a Social Security Number (SSN) to be employed in the United States. Here is information on eligibility for a Social Security Number, and How To Get/ How To Apply for Social Security Number for a K1 Visa Holder.

How to Apply for Social Security Number for a K1 Visa Holder

What is a Social Security Number?

A Social Security Number or SSN is a nine-digit identification number given to U.S. Citizens, permanent residents, and non-immigrant working residents.

SSN is the most important number assigned to a person living in the United States who is legally allowed to work. The Social Security Number is required in order to open a bank account, obtain a credit card, get driver’s license, buy a car, get domestic health insurance, and open a retirement account.

Every working person and taxpayer in the U.S. must have a Social Security Number. You need a SSN to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services.

Information Required to Get a Social Security Card

  • Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5)
  • Two original documents proving your identity, immigration status, work eligibility, and age.

Eligibility for a Social Security Number

  • Temporary workers and those in non-immigrant visa status who are authorized to work in U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can get a Social Security Number.
  • Social Security Numbers (SSN’s) are used to report wages to the govt and to determine a person’s eligibility for Social Security benefits.
  • SSN is needed to work and to collect Social Security benefits.
  • Only non-citizens authorized to work in the US are eligible for a Social Security Number.

When am I supposed to apply for an SSN?

You can apply at your local Social Security Administration Office as soon as two (2) weeks after your arrival in the U.S.

Social Security Number for a K1 Visa Holder

If you are a U.S. citizen and your fiance is not a U.S. citizen who stays outside the United States and if you plan to get married in the U.S., you can obtain a fiance visa for him/her.

K1 visa holders can get a Social Security Number (SSN) upon producing a valid unexpired I-94. Apply 2 weeks after arrival in the U.S. so that SSA can verify your information in the SAVE-ASVI database.

If you apply too soon, they may have to do a manual verification by filing Form G-845 with the USCIS which may add several weeks of delay.

Also, do not wait too long as many Social Security Administration offices will not allow you to file for a Social Security Number if your I-94 is about to expire within 14 days. Of course, it is also possible to apply after you get EAD.

Along with all other documents, bring RM 00203.500: Employment Authorization for A nonimmigrant just in case the staff at SSA is not aware that the K1 visa holder is eligible to get a SSN.

Carry your marriage certificate to the SSA office to get the Social Security Card in the new name. If you applied for a SSN before marriage, you can go back to the social security office after marriage to get your name changed in the Social Security Card.

The SSN Card will be marked “VALID FOR ONLY WITH USCIS AUTHORIZATION”. It means, you need to get EAD first before you can actually work.


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