There’s a new way for immigrants to get Social Security cards and U.S. work permits at once

·2 min read

Two of the most sought-after documents by immigrants in the United States are the Social Security card and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), better known as a work permit, to be able to legally bring bread to the table.

And, starting now, for the first time, non-U.S. citizens will be able to apply for a new Social Security card or a replacement when applying for a work permit, and avoid having to go to a Social Security Administration (SAA) office, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.

Immigrants can also apply for a Social Security card with their application for lawful permanent resident status.

According to the DOJ memo, posted on the American Immigration Lawyers Association website, foreign nationals can apply for Social Security when they file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; or Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) .

“Requesting a new or replacement Social Security card through the Forms I-765 or I-485 avoids visiting a local Social Security Administration office,” officials highlighted.

For the first time, immigrants can now get a green card and Social Security number at once

Applying for a Social Security card through immigration forms

According to DOJ, foreign nationals can apply for a Social Security card through either of these forms to:

Have a Social Security number assigned to the individual if he or she doesn’t already has one.

Replace a lost, stolen, or damaged Social Security card.

Replace a “restricted” Social Security card with an “unrestricted” one, if the applicant qualifies.

Receive a card with an updated name if the non-U.S. citizen’s legal name has been changed.

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How long does it take to receive Social Security with a work permit?

The Department of Justice said immigrants who apply for a Social Security card through this new process will receive their Social Security card within two weeks of after receiving their work permit.

Likewise, those who apply for the card along with their green card application form will receive it within two weeks after obtaining a permanent resident card or green card.

The government agency explained that since the SAA cannot issue the cards without USICS first approving these immigration forms, foreign nationals with urgent needs to replace their Social Security cards can do so at the local Social Security offices.

And, in the near future, legal permanent residents applying for U.S. citizenship through Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, will also be able to apply for a new or replacement Social Security card through that form, officials said.

You can read this story in Spanish in el Nuevo Herald.

There’s good news for immigrants applying for green cards — for now, at least

Daniel Shoer Roth is a journalist covering immigration law who does not offer legal advice or individual assistance to applicants. Follow him on Twitter @DanielShoerRoth or Instagram. The contents of this story do not constitute legal advice.

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