Applying for a Social Security Number in the U.S.? Read This
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Applying for a Social Security Number in the U.S.? Read This

Varun Kashyap

If you're moving to the U.S. for work purposes, getting a social security number (SSN) is one of the most important things to do. An SSN is an exclusive I.D. assigned to every individual residing in the U.S. This number helps citizens track their benefits and income.

An SSN is required for the following reasons:

  • You are working in the U.S.
  • You will get benefits
  • You have to pay taxes
  • You will receive some type of government service
  • You may have to apply for a loan or a license

While getting an H1B visa is your ticket to entering the U.S., you need to apply for a Social Security Number to legally work in the country. As a part of this, your employer's finance and accounting department will require your Social Security Card to inform Internal Revenue Services (IRS) of your income. This same number is also utilized to pay your taxes.

Some other reasons to get an SSN:

  • Apply for a federal loan
  • Apply for a credit card
  • Apply for Medicare
  • Apply for a driver's license

Why you shouldn't share your SSN with others?

Your SSN contains details of your work profile, license, passport, living history, and other essential information. Also, you need an SSN to open a bank account. If someone else gets access, they can check your professional and personal details like credit report, bank account, tax data, etc. That's why it's important to keep your SSN secure and private.

Steps to get an SSN

  • If your employer has signed in for e-verification, check with your H.R. and know the process. This is because you won't be able to start working before getting an SSN.
  • To get your SSN, you have to visit the Social Security Administration's office, where you will get a form known as Application For A Social Security Card.
  • Provide original documents, including a work permit offered by the Department of Homeland Security, ID card, and passport.
  • Take the receipt, and your SSN will reach you in around 2-3 weeks.

If you are an immigrant, you need to provide the following:

  • Form I-551
  • I-94 along with a foreign passport

You can check additional details here.

Some tips to keep in mind when visiting the U.S. on a work visa:

  • If you lose your Social Security Card, you can get it reissued. However, your card will be reissued only thrice a year.
  • Do not provide your SSN or related details to anyone unless necessary. To ensure that the SSN is genuinely required, ask the following questions:

        a) What is the purpose of taking your SSN?

        b) How will it be used?

        c) What are the consequences if you don't provide an SSN?

        d) According to which law do you need to provide your SSN?

       e) Don't get an SSN number printed on your business card or any other collateral.


Without an SSN, it's hard to go about your life in the U.S. Zolve allows you to apply for a U.S. bank account and credit card in India without an SSN. This saves you many hassles and will enable you to build your credit score from day one.