Requirements for a Non Citizen to apply for a social security card:
1) Immigration status:
To prove your U.S. immigration status, you must show your current U.S. immigration document, such as:
Form I-551 (Lawful Permanent Resident Card, Machine Readable Immigrant Visa) with your unexpired foreign passport;
I-766 (Employment Authorization Document, EAD, work permit); or
I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) or admission stamp in the unexpired foreign passport.
If you are an F-1 or M-1 student, you also must show us your I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).
If you are a J-1 or J-2 exchange visitor, you must show us your DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status).
2) Work eligibility:
In general, only noncitizens who have permission to work from DHS can apply for a Social Security number. If you are a foreign worker, we only need to see your I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) or admission stamp in the unexpired foreign passport showing a class of admission permitting work. Some foreign workers must show their I-766 (Employment Authorization Document, EAD, work permit) from DHS.
If you are an F-1 student and eligible to work on campus, you must provide a letter from your designated school official that: Identifies you; Confirms your current school status; and Identifies your employer and the type of work you are, or will be, doing. We also need to see evidence of that employment, such as a recent pay slip or a letter from your employer. Your supervisor must sign and date the letter. The letter must describe: Your job; Your employment start date; The number of hours you are, or will be, working; and
Your supervisor's name and telephone number.
If you are an F-1 student authorized to work in curricular practical training (CPT), you must provide us your Form I-20 with the employment page completed and signed by your designated school official.
If you are an F-1 student and have a work permit (I-766) from DHS, you must present it.
If you are a J-1 student, student intern or international visitor, you must provide a letter from your sponsor. The letter should be on sponsor letterhead with an original signature that authorizes your employment.
4) If you do not have permission to work:
Lawfully admitted noncitizens can get many benefits and services without a Social Security number. You do not need a number to conduct business with a bank, register for school, apply for educational tests, obtain private health insurance, apply for school lunch programs or apply for subsidized housing.
You cannot get a Social Security number for the sole purpose of obtaining a driver's license.
5) Government benefits or services:
If you do not have permission to work, you may apply for a Social Security number only if:
A federal law requires you to provide your Social Security number to get a particular benefit or service; or
A state or local law requires you to provide your Social Security number to get general assistance benefits for which you already have qualified.
If you need a number to meet these state or local requirements, you must bring us a letter from the government agency. It must be on letterhead stationery (no form letters or photocopies) and: Specifically identify you as the applicant; Cite the law requiring you to have a Social Security number;Indicate that you meet all the agency's requirements, except having the number; and Contain an agency contact name and telephone number.
If you need a number for tax purposes and you are not authorized to work in the United States, you can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Visit IRS in person or call the IRS toll-free number, 1-800-TAXFORM (1-800-829-3676), and request Form W-7 (Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).
If you are assigned a number for non-work purposes, you cannot use it to work. If you use it to work, we will inform DHS.
You must present your foreign birth certificate if you have it or can get it within 10 days. If not, we will consider other documents such as your passport or a document issued by DHS as evidence of your age.
Anyone age 12 or older requesting an original Social Security number MUST be interviewed by Social Security. We will ask for evidence to show you do not have a Social Security number. If you lived outside the United States for an extended period, a current or previous passport, school and/or employment records, and any other record that would show long-term residence outside the United States could be used to show you do not have a Social Security number.
Social Security will ask to see a current DHS document. Acceptable documents include:
I-551 Permanent Resident Card
I-94 Arrival/Departure Record with unexpired foreign passport or admission stamp in the unexpired foreign passport
I-766 Employment Authorization Document, (EAD, work permit) from DHS.
Take the documents to a Social Security Office:
Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday- Sunday: Closed
Social security number (SSN)
Tax Identification Number (TIN)
What is an ITIN?
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
What is an ITIN used for?
IRS issues ITINs to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws, and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security numbers. They are issued regardless of immigration status, because both resident and nonresident aliens may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code. ITINs do not serve any purpose other than federal tax reporting.
An ITIN does not:
Authorize work in the U.S.
Provide eligibility for Social Security benefits
Qualify a dependent for Earned Income Tax Credit Purposes
Do I need an ITIN? Does the following apply to you?
You do not have an SSN and are not eligible to obtain one, and
You have a requirement to furnish a federal tax identification number or file a federal tax return, and
You are in one of the following categories.
Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return
U.S. resident alien who is (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return
Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien
Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
Nonresident alien claiming a tax treaty benefit
Nonresident alien student, professor or researcher filing a U.S. tax return or claiming an exception
If so, then you must apply for an ITIN.