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What Social Security means for immigrants

Among the many complicated steps to achieve citizenship to the U.S., applying for a Social Security number tends to be one of the simpler tasks. A Social Security number can make it easier for you to find a job, buy a home and seek other opportunities. You will most likely need one if you are coming to work in the US. It’s important to know how the Social Security system may benefit you.

The purpose of Social Security is mostly to help citizens who are children, veterans, elderly or disabled. Even if you don’t fall into these categories now, the government designed this program to protect you and your family in case you are no longer able to support them in the future. For instance, public insurance and welfare are two possible benefits. As you work, you can build credit toward these services.

However, some people may not need to have a Social Security number. The government mainly requires you to have a Social Security number if you have a job in the U.S. These numbers can help identify you, but they are usually not the only method.

You do not need a Social Security number to:

  • Apply for a Texas driver’s license
  • Apply for subsidized housing
  • Register for school, tests or lunch programs
  • Purchase private insurance

To apply for a Social Security card, you can send the completed form as part of your visa application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Otherwise, you may go to a Social Security office in person. Adopted children from other countries should also have a Social Security number. In order to complete this application, adoptee parents must show proof of the child’s identity as well as their own.

Whether you need to register for Social Security for immigration or temporary work, the application process can be intimidating. If you have questions about the laws concerning Social Security for immigrants, contact a knowledgeable attorney.

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