French in the US: How to get a Social Security Number (SSN)
Reminder: I arrived in the US on a K1 visa to be able to get married in Texas. Procedures might be different according to the state where you live and your status when you enter the US. I do not aim at providing professional advice here and I only want to recount my own experience with this procedure.
This post is also available in: Français (French)
I waited for my EAD (employment authorization document), which took 7 months after filing, to ask for my SSN. I think that you can ask for it much earlier as long as you can prove that you have a valid reason for getting one. If that’s the route that you want to take, make sure to double, triple check. I wasn’t in this situation so I admit that I didn’t make all the research.
Since I have never had a social security number before, I have to apply in person. Here are the documents I gather:
– SSN application form with instructions
– My passport
– My I-766 (employment/travel authorization card)
– Most recent I-94
Also bring your birth certificate. I didn’t have one and I really thought for a minute that I was going to have to come back later.
At the Social Security office, I take a ticket and wait 2 for hours. I get a bit of a scare for not having my birth certificate, but because it would take at least 3 weeks to arrive from France, the woman accepts my passport as a proof of identity instead (phew). I get a receipt stating that I will receive a social security card within 10 days.
I will need to come back and update it when I receive my green card.