Thursday, October 5, 2017

NEW STREAMLINED PROCESS TO OBTAIN SIMULTANEOUS EAD AND SSN

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.

3 comments:

  1. One thing I am curious about is whether the person will still be able to start work while waiting for the Social Security number when applying for it this way. According to Social Security (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10107.pdf), a worker doesn't need to have received the SSN to start work, and can instead use a letter from Social Security saying they applied for a number. If they apply for an EAD and SSN with the new I-765, and they receive the EAD before the Social Security card, do they have a similar document that they can use to start work before receiving the Social Security card?

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    Replies
    1. That is correct. If they receive the EAD before the SSN, they may begin working. It is a little complicated because the employer still needs to deduct payroll tax and hold it in escrow until the SSN is issued.

      Having said all that, please check with an accountant, payroll specialist, or employment/tax attorney, for the exact process.

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