Instructions for First Time Applicants for a Social Security Card


Getting a social security card is an integral part of coming to the US and living in the nation. Anyone that is hoping to get on top of things and want to start on the right foot will need to apply. For those who are ready to do so, here are the basic instructions to follow as a first-time applicant.

These steps are going to make things easier and will ensure the social security card is approved as soon as you want it to be.

1) Must Apply In Person

Before doing anything else, you’ll have to realize this is an in-person process and has to be done in accordance with what the US government requires. To do this, you will have to make sure to look at all of your options and then move forward to the list of government offices.

Anyone that is going to be put into this position as a first-time applicant will need to realize this is something you have to prepare for. It is not a process that will be done in a matter of minutes and you need to have the right documents in hand at all times.

2) Find the Right Government Location

To get started, it’s time to head online and look at the government office closest to you. This can be found at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp. Take a look at the link, find the office that is close to you and then locate the hours of operation.

The reason to do this is to ensure you are on the same page and can move forward without having to worry about applying at the wrong time. By knowing the hours of operation, you can head to the office at the right time of the day.

3) Start Early

You should always make sure to start as early as possible. This means you want to prepare to go in at least 7-10 days before the day you’re going to be in the US.  This is the only way to make sure you are on top of things and don’t end up with a situation where you don’t have a social security card in hand. A lot of people get put into this position and that is not a good spot to be in at all! You want to start early as a first-time applicant and not wait around.

4) Bring Form SS-5

This is an important form and is the first thing you will want to have as an applicant. This form can be found at https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf. Please note, you will want to fill this form out and make sure the information is accurate.

When you are sure the information is right then take a second look and see if someone else can determine whether the details are accurate. This will ensure you don’t waste your time and end up writing something wrong and then having to do it all over again. Remember, this is an important form and should be filled out with care!

5) Keep Passport In Hand

This is a basic document that will be required while applying for a social security card. In essence, this is going to be something that will be asked for at the location and is one of the documents that are listed along with everything that’s required. However, please remember, you want to take the opportunity to make sure it is up-to-date and accurate. This includes your photo, expiration date, and everything listed on the passport (current address).

These details are going to be verified during the application process and should be something you keep in mind while looking at the passport.

6) Bring I-94

Another form that is going to be required would be the I-94 form and will be required during the in-person meeting at the office. This form can be found at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/recent-search.

The purpose of this form is to make sure your travel records are safe and in line with what the US government expects. All of these details that are listed on the form are going to be verified throughout the process and need to be as accurate as possible. Take the time to look into this form just like the others in your possession.

7) Wait for Verification

These are all of the documents that are needed during the process. You will now have to go through the verification process as soon as you line up at the office. They are going to take the forms and look through the details before approving your application. If there are issues with the details, they are going to ask you to go back! Please do not let this happen and make sure to verify everything before leaving for the office.

Otherwise, you may have to go through the process again and this may delay the steps needed to get your new card.

8) Documents Will Be Sent To Your Mailing Address

If you are approved to get a new social security card, it is time to wait at home because it is going to be sent out as soon as it is ready. In general, there is a small waiting period that comes along with the application process but it is not going to be drawn out.

Instead, it is going to take a few days and the new social security card will be in your hands before heading off to the US. This is an important step and it’s best to verify the new card before moving forward.

This is all you will need to do while getting the social security card. Please remember, this is one of the most important documents to have ready to go at all times and you will require it in the US. As a result, it’s best to get this done as soon as possible and get on top of things well in advance. Otherwise, you’re going to be racing against the clock and that is not a good position to be in for anyone!

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