What You Need to Know About SSN Social Security Numbers

When you first came to study in the United States and rented a house near the school, the apartment administrator would ask you for your social security number (SSN). Later, you found out that if you live in the United States, whether you are taking a driver’s license test, seeing a doctor, applying for a credit card, or applying for a membership card, you may need to use an SSN Social Security Number (Social Security Number for short). But what exactly is this? How important is it? Cheese takes you to find out.

Social Security Number SSN

A Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued to citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents. Because the primary purpose of social security numbers was originally to track individuals’ tax information. Subsequently, with the popularization of use, social security numbers began to become personal identification numbers (similar to the function of ID numbers) in the fields of work, education, and medical care.

Purpose of Social Security Number

The use of social security cards includes, but is not limited to, the following situations:

  • loan loan
  • Apply for a credit card (most banks reject applications from people without an SSN)
  • Driver license test (take California as an example, you can apply for real id only if you have an SSN)
  • tax return
  • buy a car
  • Apply for a mall membership (eg Macy’s)
  • Renting a house (those without SSN tend to be asked for a higher deposit)

Intuitively, SSN has nothing to do with credit, and credit records can be established without SSN. But from another perspective, if you have an SSN, you can apply for a high-quality credit card and use multiple channels to build a good personal credit score. 

Classification of Social Security Cards

There are three types of social security cards, all of which include the cardholder’s name and social security number (SSN).

  • The first category allows unrestricted employment for cardholders and is generally issued to U.S. citizens and legal permanent entry into the United States;
  • The second type of card is marked with “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION” (employment can only be obtained after obtaining a permit from the Department of Homeland Security), issued to those who legally temporarily enter the United States and hold an employment permit from the Department of Homeland Security;
  • The third type of card, marked “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT”, is issued to people from other countries who have entered the United States legally, do not hold a Department of Homeland Security employment permit, but need a social security number for normal non-employment reasons. , or from other countries who need a Social Security number because federal law requires a Social Security number to receive benefits or services.

For international students, if you want to get an SSN, finding an on-campus job is the most direct and convenient way. And through such a way to obtain the above-mentioned second type of cards. For more information on obtaining SSN for international students.

Social Security Card Process and Required Materials

Applying for a social security number SSN (for a social security card) is free, but you need to go to the Social Security Office to apply for it (if you want to find a nearby office, 

For the processing of SSN, the Social Security Bureau does not provide an appointment service, and materials need to be submitted onsite. You need to bring the following materials when you go to apply (please refer to the latest information on the official website for details ):

  • Passport and visa pages (original and photocopy)
  • SS-5 Application Form
  • I-94
  • Valid I-20
  • Work proof letter/EAD card
  • Offer Letter
  • DS-2019 (J-1 visa holders)

It should be noted that the above materials need to provide originals. If you can provide the letter and postmarked envelope with the EAD card, please bring it with you, which can reduce the time for the social security bureau and the immigration bureau to check and speed up the processing. Once all is complete, it will take about 10-14 business days to receive your Social Security card! Remember to keep it well, remember your exclusive social security number, and don’t take it out easily.

Just got SSN but can’t enjoy high-yield wealth management/banking products? Don’t worry, Cheese Debit Card, 0 fees, FDIC guarantees property safety, high welfare, and high cash back debit card, allowing you to save more and earn more.

By Cary Grant

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