COVID-19 Update: COVID-19 Vaccination Required Starting October 1 Read More

All Green Card applicants, who receive their medical examination from either a Panel Physician or a Civil Surgeon on or after October 1, 2021, will need to show evidence of vaccination for COVID-19, or provide a valid reason why they should not be held to the new requirement. See Full Details

SS-5 Form: Social Security Number Application

SS-5 Form: Social Security Number Application

When you come to the United States under certain circumstances, you are allowed to apply for a social security card using Form SS-5. 

On this page, you’ll find what an SS5 form is, who can fill out the SS5 application, how to fill out Form SS-5, and additional information needed to get your social security card in the United States.

What Is an SS-5 Form?

Form SS-5 is the form needed to apply for your social security number (SSN). Upon acceptance, you will also get your SSN card, which will be sent to you in the mail. You will file the SS5 social security application with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The form is an 18-part document titled “Application for a Social Security Card.” 

If you are in the United States as an immigrant or non-immigrant, you may file SSA Form SS-5 if you are eligible for and need a social security number card. 

Eligibility for SSA Form SS-5

There are many reasons why you might apply for a social security card. Any U.S. citizen or immigrant can file form SS-5, but you need to be eligible in order to obtain social security benefits. 

Social Security Change of Status Form

You can use Form SS-5 as your social security status change form when making the transition to U.S. citizenship. If you had an SSN card as a green card holder, you can then submit another SSA form SS5 and use it as your social security citizenship update form.

SS-5 Name Change Form

If you need to update the information on your social security card—for example, if you have a name change through marriage, divorce, or other legal occurrences—you will use the SS5 social security application. You will simply fill out the information on your current card and fill in the new information on the SS-5 form.

Filing SS-5 as a Parent or Caregiver

If you are a new parent to a child, either by birth or adoption, you can file Form SS-5 on their behalf and claim them as a dependent. 

You can also file on the behalf of an adult that you are a caregiver for or if they are your dependent (such as a spouse), if the adult does not have an SSN already. 

By doing both or either of these options, you can claim the child or adult as your legal dependent. This allows you to take care of their finances, taxes, and claim government benefits if need be. 

Applying for a Job

You need an SSN in order to be employed in the United States. Fill out Form SS-5 after you have received your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to be able to legally work in the U.S.

Alternatively, you can file for an SSN card with your EAD application through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There is more information about this process below.

If you are an employer looking to hire foreign nationals, take a look at the U.S. compliance standards

Other Eligibility for SS-5 Form Social Security Application

You can also file Form SS-5 if you:

  • Are applying for a social security card for the first time on your own
  • Need a new SSN card because yours has been compromised (lost, stolen, destroyed, etc.)
  • Need an error fixed on your current SSN card

We often get questions about working on a K-1 visa. Check out the link for more information about the application process, since you do need an SSN to be employed in the U.S. 

For any questions about applying for a social security card, talk to our knowledgeable immigration attorneys today. 

Filling Out SS-5 Form Social Security Application

There are 18 parts to the SSA Form SS-5. The application is fairly straightforward. However, if you need any assistance, contact the experienced attorneys at our law office today. 

You will fill out the following information for your SS5 application:

  • Your first, middle, and last name
  • If you have ever had a social security number, provide it in part two
  • Your place of birth 
  • Your date of birth 
  • Your citizenship information; SSA gives you four options that you can check—if you check one of the last two options, you also need to give the SSA information as to why you are requesting an SSN; if you have questions about this part of the application, reach out to us today:

    1. U.S. citizen
    2. Legal foreign national allowed to work
    3. Legal foreign national not allowed to work
    4. Other
  • Your ethnicity
  • Your race
  • Your sex
  • Your mother’s birth name and her social security number if she has one
  • Your father’s birth name and his social security number if he has one
  • Whether you (or the person filing on your behalf) have ever filed for or have had an SSN—the choices are “yes,” “no,” or “don’t know”
  • If you answered yes to question 11, fill out the name printed on your most recent SSN card
  • The date of birth used on the previous application
  • The date you are filing the SS-5 form
  • Your phone number
  • Your mailing address
  • Your signature
  • Check you filed Form SS-5

There is a box at the bottom of the SS-5 social security form. Make sure you leave this blank. It is for the SSA officer to fill out. 

Evidence for Your SS-5 Form Social Security Application

Once you are finished completing the physical SS5 social security form, you will need to gather additional evidence to prove your age and identity. The primary piece of evidence needed is your birth certificate. Whether you are filing the actual SSA Form SS-5 or are applying for your social security number with your EAD application, you will need to present your birth certificate. 

If you are sending in your application instead of filing at a Social Security Administration office, then send in a copy of your birth certificate. If you are going into an office in person, bring your actual birth certificate. 

The purpose of presenting your birth certificate is to prove your age. There are other documents to bring to prove your identity. If you do not have a birth certificate, do not worry; there are situations where the SSA office evaluates other documents that can be used in place of a birth certificate. 

These documents, provided by the Social Security Administration office, include:

  • Birth record from a U.S. hospital
  • Passport
  • Final adoption decree with birth information
  • Religious records 

In addition to your birth certificate or other qualifying, age-identifying document, bring the following for your SS5 social security application evidence:

You do not need all of these documents if you have not been issued one. For example, you do not need to bring a green card (Form I-551) if you do not have one. However, you do need a Form I-766, EAD in order to get your social security number. 

An Important Note for Your SS5 Social Security Evidence

When you go in to file your SS-5 form social security application, bring in all original copies. Unlike the evidence you need for most USCIS immigration forms, you will be presenting these SS5 social security evidence documents in person. Most USCIS forms only accept copies. The SSA Form SS-5 requires originals.

SS-5 Form Example

This link to the Social Security Administration page provides an SS-5 form example. Scroll down to page five when the page opens up to see the SS-5 form.

Can I Get an SSN With a Work Permit?

Yes, you can! If you are applying for your SSN card for the first time or need a replacement, you can be issued an SSN along with the physical SSN card when applying for a work permit. 

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization is needed in order to work in the United States. When you work in the U.S., you also need an SSN. This is because your employer needs employee SSN information for taxes and to report your earnings to the government. 

Upon approval, you will receive your EAD and your SSN card. These will be mailed separately, so be sure to keep an eye on your mailbox for both forms if you apply for these two documents together on a Form I-765 application. Once you have both documents, you can start your legal employment in the United States!

Note that the SS-5 form social security application is through the SSA. Form I-765 is through USCIS. These are the two ways you can be issued an SSN and SSN card. 

*An additional note: If you are seeking political asylum, you may apply for an EAD after your asylum has been granted or after one calendar year of your application being processed. Speak to your immigration attorney if you have questions regarding your social security card status as an asylee. 

Submitting Your SS5 Social Security Application

There are three main ways to submit your SSA Form SS-5 and an additional way to apply for your SSN card with USCIS. 

Focusing on the SS-5 form social security administration avenue, you can apply either in person, through the mail, or online.

Social Security Status Change Form

You can only apply for Form SS5 online if you need to update your SSN card information. You can also apply online if your current SSN card is damaged. Either way, you already need to have an SSN card for the online SS-5 form social security card request.

Mailing in Your SSA Form SS-5

You are allowed to mail in your SSA Form SS-5. However, remember that you need to present original documents along with your application. This means that you must mail in your original documents, not copies, if you choose to send in your SSA form. 

If you decide to do this, your documents may get damaged or lost in the mail. You also will not have the documents with you. The decision is up to you, so weigh the pros and cons before you send any original documents through the mail. 

Filing SS-5 Form Social Security Application in Person

If this is your first time filing and/or you need to give original documents, you can take your application and additional evidence into a physical Social Security Administration office. This way, you can keep your documents safe and secure. 

Find the social security office closest to you by using the Social Security Office Locator. Type in your ZIP code and hit locate. 

Does SSN Come With an EAD Card? Filing With Form I-765?

As stated above, if you are applying for Form I-756, Application for Employment Authorization, you can fill out a section to get issued an SSN card. 

How Long Does it Take to Get SSN: SSN Application Processing Time

After you have sent in or are finished filing your SS-5 form social security application, you should hear back from the Social Security Administration within 10 business days. They will contact you to confirm whether your SS-5 application was accepted or denied. 

Upon acceptance, the SSA will send you your social security card in the mail. It’s important to put your residential address on your SSA Form SS-5 to make sure your social security card is sent to the correct location. 

Since you need to provide immigration forms, the SSA needs to confirm those forms with USCIS. Once the SSN application processing time is complete, it will take about two weeks for your SSN card to be mailed to you. 

If your SSN application processing time takes longer, it may be because USCIS could not verify your immigration documents right away. If this is the case, it may take up to a month to receive your SSN. 

Contact an Immigration Attorney

Getting your social security number and card is an important step in your process of coming to the United States. In order to work in the U.S., you need an SSN. If you have any questions about the SS-5 form or any other immigration needs, reach out to our immgration attorneys. 

The experienced lawyers at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. have over 30 years of experience supporting people in their transition to the United States. Call us at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online contact form today!

We're looking forward to hearing from you!