Effective October 1, 2017, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have instituted a new information-sharing partnership allowing foreign nationals to apply for an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and a SSN (Social Security Number) at one time and on one form.
This should be helpful for those lawfully in the US and who are eligible for work authorization via an EAD, but who have previously not had social security numbers. H-4/EAD, L-1/EADs, and spouses and children applying for I-485/EADs are some examples of people who will benefit from this new process.
EADs are documentation of the individual’s work authorization and can be shown to employers to satisfy the I-9 and e-verify tests. EADs permit the foreign national to work for a finite period of time, listed on the EAD card. SSNs are used to report wages to the government and to determine the individual’s eligibility for certain government benefits.
Under the previous system, foreign nationals had to first obtain an EAD and then go to their local SSA Office and apply for an SSN separately. The revised EAD Application (Form I-765) allows applicants to apply for an SSN or a replacement SSN card without visiting the SSA Office. The USCIS will now transmit the SSN data to the SSA for processing. Applicants will receive their EAD from the USCIS and their SSN card from the SSA within two weeks.