Suppose you are seeking to immigrate to the United States. In that case, you should know you have an opportunity to request a Social Security Card as early as your immigrant visa application process. If you have already immigrated, then there are different steps you will need to take to attain a Social Security number so you can work to support yourself and your family. These steps will also prepare you to pursue a Driver’s License in Florida.
The Santos Law Offices in Miami and Orlando help individuals and families immigrate to the U.S. and seek citizenship daily. Cuban immigrant Dalyla Santos founded our leading immigration law firm to help immigrants to pursue their goals in the United States. We are experienced in the issues facing immigrants and ready to guide your transition to life in the USA. Call us at (305) 417-4111 today with your immigration questions.
How Do I Request a Social Security Number as an Immigrant?
You will need a Social Security Card with your Social Security Number (SSN) to work in the United States. A Social Security number is also required to collect Social Security benefits and to receive several other government services. Depending on your situation, there are a few ways to attain a Social Security Card.
Requesting a Social Security Card While Filing For an Immigrant Visa
You can apply for a Social Security Card while filing for your immigrant visa with the U.S. Department of State. (Form DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration or electronic Form DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application)
If you did not request a Social Security Card or SSN during your application, you must visit a Social Security office to apply for an SSN. You will need your passport with your Machine-Readable Immigrant Visa (MRIV) or your Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551), birth certificate, and birth certificates for all family members applying for a Social Security number.
Are You Applying for Work Authorization or Lawful Permanent Resident Status?
If you are applying for work authorization or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you’ll need an SSN so your employer can report your earnings. You can apply for an SSN or replacement Social Security card while applying for Employment Authorization or LPR status with Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, or Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, respectively.
Proving Your Identity and Status
You will need to prove your identity, age, and immigration status using current U.S. immigration documents and your unexpired foreign passport. Some such immigration documents include Form I-551, an admission stamp showing a class of admission permitting work, Form I-94, and Form I-766. Exchange Visitors and International Students also have other documentation requirements. We can help you identify the appropriate forms and procedures for your situation.
Immediately Report Your Change of Address if You Move
You will also need to be sure to communicate any address changes, as your Social Security cards will be sent to the same address listed on your applications above. Requests via Form DS-230 with a visa application should arrive within three weeks. Card requests with a Form I-765 should arrive within seven business days from receiving your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
How Soon Can I Pursue a Driver’s License?
Driver’s License rules vary by state, with some states even allowing undocumented immigrants to gain a driver’s license. At the time of writing, Florida does not allow driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. If you seek a driver’s license in a state besides Florida, you must refer to that state’s DMV information. In Florida, legal immigrants can apply for a new REAL ID-compliant driver’s license through the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles by providing the following documentation:
- One Primary Identification Document: Green Card, Form I-551, I-551 stamp in passport or on I-94, Immigration judge’s order with your A-number (admissions number), or I-797 with your A-number (and statement showing approval of approval of refugee status, if applicable)
- One Proof of Social Security: W-2 form (not handwritten), Paycheck/stub, SSA-1099, or any 1099 (not handwritten)
- Two Proofs of Residential Address: deed, mortgage statement, residential lease agreement, utility bill, homeowner insurance policy/bill, W-2, 1099 form, mail from government agencies (federal/state/county/city), mail from financial institutions (checking/savings/investment account statements), or other document examples listed
Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney in Florida With Your Social Security Card and Driver’s License Questions
Many facets of transitioning to life as an immigrant in the U.S. require some complex forms and processes. It is helpful to have the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney who has been through many of these processes firsthand and helped countless others do the same. We understand where you’re coming from, and our clients are like family. We want to help you visualize your next steps, and we can help you pursue your family’s immigration goals.
At The Santos Law Offices, we can help you to organize and complete the documentation you will need to live and work as an immigrant in the United States. Call us today at (305) 417-4111 or fill out the form on our website to schedule a free consultation via telephone or zoom regarding questions on immigration processes and related documentation as you seek to adapt to life in the USA. We can do Saturday consults by appointment and arrange in-office visits if that is your preference. Hablamos español.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.