U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that permanent resident applicants may now apply for a Social Security number (SSN) or replacement card as part of the green-card application process.

Key Points:

  • Previously, applicants had to apply for a SSN at a Social Security office; individuals may now apply for a SSN or replacement card within the permanent resident application.
  • USCIS is revising the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status, to include the additional questions needed to apply for a SSN or replacement card.
  • The Social Security Administration will automatically assign an individual a SSN as they receive requests from USCIS; applicants will not have to take any further action to receive their SSN.

Additional Information: USCIS Director Ur Jaddou, who was recently confirmed, stated that the agency’s decision to expand its partnership with the Social Security Administration intends to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and help make the immigration system more efficient.

BAL Analysis: This is a welcome change that will eliminate the additional step of applicants having to apply separately with the SSA for a social security number, which confers proof of a noncitizen’s eligibility for employment, social security benefits and other government services. BAL will continue to monitor these developments and will provide updates as they become available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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