FAQ: Social Security Numbers

Social Security Numbers (SSNs) are a key component to many aspects of life in the U.S., but the issuance of SSNs to foreign nationals is restricted and we are often asked questions about it.  The following are answers and resources to provide you with information on this and related topics.

Q: How does a noncitizen obtain a SSN?

A: Noncitizens authorized to work in the U.S. by DHS can apply to obtain a SSN. Although, since the I-94 automation in May 2013, the SSA has changed its 10-day wait policy. It is best if noncitizens wait a few days after admission to apply.  For first time applicants, the process involves completing an application, applying in person at a SS office and presenting at least two acceptable documents to prove identity, work authorization and age.  Processing is roughly two to three weeks after application for the noncitizen to obtain the SSN. Click here to read more questions and answers on social security numbers.