One hurdle that all newly arriving foreign workers face is the Social Security Number. In his newest article, immigration lawyer Godfrey Muwonge explains.
Law Office of Godfrey Y. Muwonge, LLC (N/A:N/A)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, UNITED STATES, December 18, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — To assist foreign workers who just arrived in the U.S., Milwaukee immigration attorney Godfrey Muwonge has published an instructional article to explain the process of obtaining a Social Security Number when one holds a U.S. work visa. The complete article will be published on the blog of Mr. Muwonge at https://GodfreyMuwonge.blogspot.com.
A Social Security Number (SSN) is essential in the United States for all kinds of purposes. One usually needs it to obtain a driver license, to register for health benefits, and to open a bank account. If one is not a United States citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR or green card holder), one must meet certain requirements to obtain a SSN. In general, one must demonstrate that one is authorized under federal rules to accept gainful employment in the United States and is in proper status. For example, a non-citizen in the L-1 employment category (intra-company transferee), who has been processed overseas at a United States consulate and completed the customs form aboard the aircraft as it approached a United States airport, can print his or her I-94 arrival/departure record at the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov, and take that printout to a Social Security Administration office to apply for a SSN (along with the passport & visa).
In the past, the I-94 form was a white card that upon arrival was stapled into the non-citizen's passport. It showed the arrival date, the final date of his or her authorized stay, and the class in which he or she was admitted (such as visitor for pleasure (B-2), visitor for business (B-1), student (F-1), and so on), as well as the port of entry. These days, a stamp showing the dates of admission and the end of the authorized stay, and class of admission is entered on a page in the non-citizen’s passport. The stamp does not show the I-94 number, and the non-citizen has to go to the CBP website and enter the required information (Name, date of birth, passport number, and the country which issued the passport). This measure was apparently taken to combat fraud — anyone to whom the I-94 form is presented can now log onto the CBP website and verify the authenticity of the I-94 information.
The information on the I-94 will show the class of admission, and along with the passport and visa it will let the SSA official determine whether the non-citizen is authorized to work in the United States and eligible to get a SSN. The first-time applicant for an SSN must do so in person at an SSA office, and the closest SSA office can be determined by calling toll free 1-800-772-1213 and following the prompts. Alternatively, one can locate the nearest SSA office by visiting the SSA’s website www.ssa.gov. The application for an SSN is made on a Form SS-5.
There is a backlog in the issuance of SSNs, and one may have to wait a couple of weeks or possibly even months to receive it. SSA must verify the application information with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
There are situations in which USCIS will be unable to immediately verify the non-citizen’s eligibility to work in the United States even if that individual has been processed at a United States consulate abroad. For instance, an E-2 work visa holder will sometimes have to provide the SSA with additional information to prove that he or she is authorized to work in the United States. The reason is that most work visas (such as H-1B or L-1) are first processed through USCIS (and USCIS thus has a record), but E-2 work visas may be issued directly by a U.S. Consulate (and USCIS thus does not have such record).
About Godfrey Y. Muwonge
Godfrey Muwonge is an immigration attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Education: Marquette University Law School, Juris Doctor (1997). Author of “Immigration Reform: We Can Do It, If We Apply Our Founders' True Ideals, Revised Edition” (Univ. Press of America, 2010), which was selected as one of top-10 Books that Drive the Debate (2009) by U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Chamber Foundation. See https://www.amazon.com/Immigration-Reform-Apply-Founders-Ideals-ebook/dp/B00D79W838
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Source: EIN Presswire