As most U.S. citizens already know, having a Social Security Number (SSN) at the ready is incredibly important for getting hired for a new job, obtaining private health insurance via the marketplace, owning or renting a vehicle, and also renting or leasing an apartment anywhere in the U.S. Your SSN makes your life easier and verifies your identity for important applications. It comes in handy when you least expect it.

Immigrants also receive SSNs, although some have difficulty obtaining one, or simply forget that they need to go to a Social Security office and register/fill out the paperwork. In short, when you are a new immigrant in the United States, and perhaps don’t have a command of the English language and aren’t familiar with the city you are living in, it takes time to integrate. This is why many immigrants skip the Social Security appointment—they are busy integrating into a community and learning the ropes. In addition, if you have a work permit, some believe that it will replace a SSN. This is unfortunately not the case.  

In the past, this has presented problems for immigrants and also temporary residents seeking certain benefits or experiencing obstacles in daily life without a SSN. However, under the new guidance of the USCIS, the government agency is changing the procedure for securing a SSN and incorporating it into green card applications.

New Policy in Effect

As of August 9th, the USCIS will be partnering with the Social Security Administration and updating the I-485 Adjustment of Status application to add a section where applicants can fill out information regarding to social security. The move to add this section and reduce paperwork for the SSA, as well as create efficiencies for immigrants coming or already present in the United States, is in accordance with the USCIS effort to create a new, meaningful, and effective agency that reduces bureaucracy and promotes legal immigration.

Previously, applicants would need to file for an I-485 adjustment, and then also go to a SSA office to fill out an application for a SSN. This update combines the two, and makes it easier for immigrants to receive their SSN after applying for a green card.

For the full notice, please see the following:

SSN Green Card