Apply and get Social Security Number (SSN) - Mission Two Accomplished

All right friends, here is my second accomplishment in the US – the SSN. I applied for SSN before submitting the EAD application. So the learning here is that the SSN and EAD are not related. They are handled by two different departments. You don’t need to have an EAD to apply for SSN and visa versa.

SSN process was relatively simple. My husband and I walked into the Social Security Office near my home with all the required original documents. You can carry certified copies by issuing agency as well, just in case. You can lookup for your nearest Social Security office here -

Here is the list of the document I carried with me (all originals)
  • I-94, Arrival/Departure record, which was punched on my passport at the time of entry.
  • Passport
  • Marriage Certificate*
  • Marriage photo* (might not be needed always, but we showed them :))

*Only needed for the dependent.

I-94 is to show the immigration status and work eligibility status. Passport serves both as your identity proof as well as age proof. The marriage certificate is to confirm the legal dependent.

It was 9:30 am when we entered the office and it was crowded. It was a weekday and my husband was getting late for office. Eeee... But, coming back again was not a good idea. We decided to stay back, took a token and waited for our turn. Make sure you take one token per person (that’s what we learned from the official there at the time of our interview). I forgot to mention that you also need to fill a form. I picked it from the SSN office the same day and filled it before my interview. If you want, you can print and fill the form before you go for the interview. Here is the link to the form -

After an hour and a half, they announced our token number and it was our turn… huuurraaah J. We went to the counter for the interview. There was a nice lady on the other side. With all smiles and greetings, we handed over the SSN form and original documents to her. She asked a couple of questions about our work status and marriage. Since the servers were down, she could not submit our application. We got a temporary acknowledgement number and were told that once the application is submitted, we will receive the confirmed acknowledgement number through mail in a week’s time. Probably within 3 weeks, we will get the SSN card or maybe sooner.

Things were good for my case. I received the confirmed application acceptance acknowledgement in a week and then the card next week. But it was not that rosy for my husband. He received confirmed acknowledgement 4-5 weeks after the interview and the card a week after. Looks like wait is the medicine for all the problems in US, just kidding J.

Stay tuned for details on my husband’s case, why it’s good to have SSN asap, and why you don’t need to wait for weeks before applying for it.

Hope this helps!

You might also like to read: Twelve Key Things To Do After Moving To The US

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  1. I need to mention here that they didn't deliver my SSN card, because my mail box didn't have my name printed on it. So write down your full name and paste it on your mail box right after you apply for SSN,

  2. Thank you soo much, I am in US for short 3 months stay with my hubby(mine is L2 ), I applied for SSN in 2nd week of OCT ,followed your blog with no biometric appointment. I received yesterday my SSN.I guess it was too next task is EAD..hope to get it soon too before JAN.once again thank you for sharing.

  3. Hi, I am in L2 and applying for SSN. I went to nearby SSN office and produced all my documents, unfortunately my marriage certificates were laminated. They said they won't accept laminated documents. I did not know that laminated documents are invalid here. I also tried to de-laminate on my own but could not do it as the paper gets teared. Also tried for professional services who could use machines to de-laminate. i don't find any. can anyone please help me. It would be a great help if i could find some way. Thanks.

    1. Hi Gouthmi,

      Please find the below contact details from which I have done de-lamination of marriage certificate.
      Balaji Enterprise : N0.23/4, Archana Complex, J.C. Road Bangalore -560002. Contact number : SB Dilip 9341221836,9964949999,8494822999

    2. Hi Gowthami,

      I am on L2 and applied my SSN during 1st week of Oct at DE and carried laminated copy of marriage certificate (Original) and they verified and handed back. Not sure why this did not work in your case

  4. Is it enough to produce the Xerox copy or the original Marriage certificate?

    What is ideal wait time for going into the SSN office after you land into the US?

    Should I wait for EAD to be approved, before going to apply SSN or do I need SSN to apply EAD? or neither...

    Also Can L1 applicant re-use the SSN when I had during my previous visit on H1-B or do I need to reapply again?

    Last, something not related to SSN, What are other background verification asked by the USCIS once L1 applicant joins work in US?

  5. Hi Greeshma,

    Thanks for sharing your experience.I just started filling I-765 form to get L2-EAD.
    Could you please help me with all documents those you have sent with your I-765 form. Just curious to know because you have recieved EAD in just 1 month of time.

  6. Hello I will be moving to US in a couple weeks with an L2 and we are bringing the original marriage certificate but it is in Spanish. Do you think that is going to be a problem?

    1. Hi there,
      In this case, you will need to attach an affidavit along with the original marriage certificate. All the best!

  7. Hello, Your blog is easy to follow and really helpful. Thank you for taking the time to sketch out the step-by-step process!
    I would like to check with you on a question I have:
    Question 14 & 15 in Part-2 of I-765 application says we can apply for SSN with the EAD (I-765)form. Was there a reason you decided to do this separately? Could you please advise?