Social Security

Social Security is another odd part of the US process and is a piece of thin card that opens the door to many institutions and facilities in the country.

What is it exactly? It’s basically the old-age benefits program (pension) but here’s a great video introducing it:

You want to get your hands on one of these as a priority after moving with a Visa as it is attached to your credit score and everything else you might want to do.

How to get a Social Security Number

  1. Go to the Social Security website to see what documents you require
  2. You will need to print your I-94 (Arrival Departure record) from the I94 website
    1. Fill in your details and then print out the “I-94 Admission Record”
    2. Continue to “Get this Traveler’s Travel History”
    3. Print this as well for good measure
  3. Prepare a letter from your employer (see our example) that:
    1. Includes your start date for work and your hours (or “Full-time”);
    2. Your gross income per year;
    3. Shows what your job is (matching Visa where appropriate);
    4. Details your Supervisor’s (or manager’s) name and contact details;
    5. Is on proper letterhead;
    6. Is signed and recently dated;
  4. Prepare documentation of your address in the US (e.g. Formal lease or sub-lease agreement that includes landlord’s name and phone number and your address); – Please note, according to the official site, there is no requirement for an address. When I went, it made life a little easier, though.
  5. Find your nearest office by going to this website;
  6. Take the above documents and your Passport that contains your visa (and Passport that has entry stamps if separate) to the above office;
  7. Be kind, provide everything they require;
  8. Be sent your Social Security “card” in the mail a few days later.
  9. Take extra good care of this card as getting a replacement is a pain.

Who should I give my social security number to?

This is a question I get asked all the time, and I’ve therefore written a whole article about who you should and should not give your social security number to.

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