social security number (SSN)

Generally, only non-citizens authorized to work in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can get a Social Security Number. SSNs are used to report a person’s wages to the government and to determine a person’s eligibility for Social Security benefits. You need a SSN to work, collect Social Security benefits, and receive various other government services.


If you are a permanent resident, there are two ways you can apply.

  • You can apply in your home country before you come to the United States when filing an application for an immigration visa with the U.S. Department of State. In almost all cases, if you apply for a Social Security Number and card with your immigration visa application, you don’t have to visit a Social Security office in the United States. 
  • You can visit a Social Security office in person. See the section below for what you need to bring with you to the Social Security office.

If you are not an immigrant, you must visit a Social Security office to apply.

To prove your identity and work-authorized immigration status, show your current U.S. immigration documents and your unexpired foreign passport. 


Following documents will be needed for the Application for Social Security Number:

  • foreign Passport (must be unexpired);
  • Visa;
  • Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record); or Form I-766 (Employment Authorization Document, EAD, work permit);
  • Official international driver's license from your home country;
  • Original Marriage Certificate (if applicable);
  • Form I-551 (Permanent Resident Card, includes machine-readable immigrant visa); (if applicable);
  • Admission stamp showing a class of admission permitting work (if applicable);

US Federal Building and courthouse


Monday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

To find detailed information provided by the Social Security Administration please visit the following site.