What is a social security number (SSN)
and why do I need it?
A social security number is a unique identification number (consists of nine digits)
at the federal level. The purpose of the social security number is to have a record
of wages and income in the USA. This national identification number has been adapted
to have many uses, including:
- Proof of Identity
- Establishing credit history
- Taking out loans
- Getting and keeping employment (without SSN you can not work legally)
- Ability to receive public assistance from the government
- Access to open bank accounts
- Applying for a state driver license
- Ability to register to Medicaid and Medicare
- Declare taxes
- Renting or buying property
- Being able to register for services (electricity, water, insurance, internet, etc.)
The truth is that it’s needed for everything and can be very frustrating
when you do not have a social security number when it’s needed everywhere.
Almost all our clients who are looking to process their investor visa seem to
struggle with this, because many already want to rent a house/apartment, or want to start to settle in
and did not know they needed to have a social security number to process their driver license
or anything else. Additionally it sometimes becomes a problem in the business they are developing,
for example to rent a commercial lease agreement, many landlords request to see the credit history.
In conclusion, this is a very common occurrence among foreign investors
and the good thing that most of these examples have solutions. We have helped our clients
avoid these types of setbacks and helped them move with more ease.
You need to find the right professionals that know how to deal with foreign investors like yourself,
so don’t be afraid to ask them if they have had clients in your current situation.
Do I have to be an American citizen
to have a social security number in the USA?
No, in reality it is not necessary to be a USA citizen to be able to process a social security number.
First of all, if you are from anther country, you will probably have to process a work or investor visa.
Here is a list of people who can request a social security number in the United States.
Who can process a social security number?
- American citizens.
- Legal Permanent Residents.
- People with immigrant visas (CR-1, CR-2, EB-5, etc.).
- People with non-immigrant visas or visa with dual intent
that allow you to process a social security number
(some visas are E-2, E-1, F-1, J-1, J-2, M-1, L- 1, L-2, TN, K-1, H-1B, etc.).
Can you process a social security number with a tourist visa (B-1/B-2)?
No, only with some types of visa can you process your social security number
in the USA and the tourist visa is not one of them. Therefore you might need to look
for an investor visa or work visa that fits your situation. If you need a social security number
for business or work reasons, we can help you. Click here to contact us.
How do I process my social security number
if I already hold an investor visa?
Having the investor visa is the hard part of this process.
The only thing is that acquiring the social security numbers may take an average of 3-5 weeks
(varies in city and state). As a result be prepared to not have access to a SSN for 4-5 weeks
after you visit the Social Security Administration Office.
Follow these 5 simple steps to get your SSN:
STEP 1: Start by Searching in Google “Social Security Office [your city] or near me”
to see which office is closest to you.
STEP 2: Next, Go to the social security office (you do not need to make an appointment).
STEP 3: Also you will need a copy and original of:
- Visa Investor
- Permit, I-94, Seal of entry (they are the same thing)
- Birth Certificate (usually they keep the original)
STEP 4: Fill out form SS-5 and follow the instructions of the attendant.
STEP 5: Finally, Wait for the card to arrive by mail.
Congratulations, your social number card is on its way!
Remember not to give your social security number to anyone
and it is advisable to never carry your social security number card with you.
Our recommendation is to keep your social security number saved on your cell phone
(in a password keeper app or a secret contact) or in a secret place
that you can access when you are away from home. Usually when they ask you for it,
they will just want the number, not the card.
If you want to start your business in the USA and you do not know how, that’s not a problem.
Our team is dedicated to help foreign investors and entrepreneurs like you to start your business in the USA,
from 0 to 100. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.
If you have more questions about the social security number please visit the official website of the social security offices in the USA.