Social security cards are available for certain immigrants, including those who have an employment authorization document (EAD) or green card. Recently, the USCIS and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have made it a little easier for EAD and green card applicants to request a social security card. These applicants no longer need to visit their local SSA office to get a new or replacement Social Security card. Instead, they can request a new social security card or a replacement social security card when they apply for (1) an EAD through USCIS Form I-765 or (2) lawful permanent resident status through the USCIS Form I-485.
An EAD applicant that does not have an assigned social security number or needs a replacement card, should answer yes to the question “do you want the SSA to issue you a Social Security card” on the I-765 form and follow the remaining instructions on the form. Once the USCIS approves the EAD, the SSA will mail the Social Security card to the EAD applicant. The card will be a restricted card that shows the name and Social Security number with the restriction, “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION.”
Green card applicants
Regardless of whether a green card applicant has a social security number or card, a new or replacement card can be requested by answering yes to the question “do you want the SSA to issue you a Social Security card” on the I-485 form and following the remaining instructions on the form. This is important because once the green card is approved, the SSA will mail a replacement Social Security card to the new permanent resident. The card will be an unrestricted card that shows the name and Social Security number only. This type of card is an important benefit because unrestricted cards can be used to prove work authorization to employers.
Typically, the SSA issues the new or replacement card about two weeks after the approval of the EAD or green card. If not received within that time frame, the applicant can contact the SSA.
This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033, text us using our chat box, or complete our contact form.