Immigrants Can Now Apply For A Social Security Card When Applying For Residency

CNW Legal Analyst, Attorney Caroly Pedersen


The USCIS has made some significant improvements in streamlining processes and procedures, including issuing many work permits for two years instead of one and allowing students to apply for work permits online, among many other changes.

In one of the most recent policy enhancements, the USCIS is simplifying the process for residency applicants to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) or replacement cards.

Up to now, residency applicants who wanted to obtain a social security card were required to file an application for work authorization during the process and wait for the work permit to be issued and the social security card to arrive around the same time.

- Advertisement -

Under the new policy, the USCIS will electronically transmit the residency applicant’s data to the Social Security Administration, which will then automatically assign each immigrant an SSN and card, or issue a replacement card, as appropriate.

There will be no additional fee for this service. To take advantage of this new option, applicants must use the new updated residency form I-485 with the edition date of 03/29/21.

However, applicants should still be able to apply for an SSN by using form I-765 application for work authorization in order to obtain an SSN earlier, once the work permit is issued. 

You can read the new policy announcement  by visiting our website at and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link in the upper left hand corner or by visiting our enewsletter site at:


** Contributions to this Column are made by Attorney Caroly Pedersen, Esq. of the American Immigration Law Center