On October 2, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced it has entered into a partnership with the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) which allows certain foreign nationals to apply for a Social Security number (“SSN”) at the same time as they apply for employment authorization, using a newly designed Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.

In the past, foreign nationals who obtained permission to work in the U.S. had to separately apply for an SSN through a local SSA office only after receiving permission from USCIS to engage in employment. That could take up to several weeks to obtain, and thus caused further delays in the individual being permitted to engage in employment. Now, however, the process will be streamlined as an SSN will be assigned at the same time USCIS approves the Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.

As of October 2, 2017, foreign nationals may request an SSN on the Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization when the application is submitted to USCIS; they will not need to visit an SSA office to obtain the number. Foreign nationals should receive the Social Security card from the SSA within two weeks following receipt of the employment authorization document from USCIS. If this streamlined process works as intended, it will remove one additional hurdle and delay from the process used by eligible foreign nationals to engage in employment.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for either employment authorization or a Social Security number, please contact an immigration attorney at our office.