Social Security

A permanent resident of the United States is allowed to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) and to be issued a Social Security card, which is associated with certain retirement and other benefits and is also required to work in the USA; open a bank account; apply for credit; enroll in educational programs; and is used for tax purposes. The SSN is issued by the US Social Security Administration, which is a United States government agency established to provide retirement and other benefits, and can be applied for by a permanent resident at local offices in many US towns and cities. To find the nearest Social Security office, call +1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security website at:

In order to apply for a FREE Social Security Number, a US permanent resident will need to provide the Social Security official with a:

  • US Citizenship status document, such as the Form I-551 Permanent Resident Card
  • Proper identification document, such as a Permanent Resident Card, passport or driver’s license issued in a US state
  • Birth certificate or valid passport (to prove age, since Social Security is associated with retirement and other benefits)

Other documents may be required, depending on an individual’s particular case.

Remember, there is NO CHARGE to apply for a Social Security Number – it is FREE!

Since the Social Security Number is a permanent form of identification that is often associated with private personal information (such as banking, credit, educational records, health details, etc.), it should be kept safe (for example, to avoid identify theft) and only be provided to appropriate authorized individuals (such as federal, state or local officials; when applying for a bank account or credit; when enrolling in a healthcare plan or checking into a hospital; etc.).