Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 02022831 (posted Feb. 28, 2002)"
gPosted on AILA InfoNet, Doc. No. 02022831
(February 28, 2002
The following information was received from the Social
Security Administrationfs on-line customer support team, in response to an
inquiry submitted by the office of AILA member Paul L. Zulkie:
Q. I am in the U.S. on a temporary visa. Can I get a
Social Security number?
A. If you are lawfully admitted to the United States with
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) permission to work in the U.S., you
are eligible for a Social Security number. If you are lawfully admitted but do
not have INS permission to work in the United States, we can assign you a Social
Security number only if you have a valid nonwork reason for needing a number.
Effective March 1, 2002, the Social Security Administration
will no longer assign Social Security Numbers when the sole reason for needing
an SSN is to comply with a State statute that requires an SSN for issuance of a
driver's license. SSA will continue to issue SSNs to aliens who are not
otherwise eligible for SSNs for the following nonwork purposes:
œ a Federal statute or regulation requires that the
alien provide his/her SSN to get the particular benefit or service; or
œ a State or local law requires the alien to provide
his/her SSN to get general assistance benefits to which the alien has
If you don't have permission to work, but still need a number
for one of the reasons mentioned above, you must provide a statement on
letterhead stationery from the government agency that is requiring you to
provide an SSN. The letter must specifically identify you as the applicant; cite
the law requiring you to have a Social Security number; and indicate that you
meet all the agencyfs requirements to get the benefit or service except for
having an SSN.