How to apply for SSN as E-2 visa holder

For the American citizens is nothing extraordinary to have this nine-digit SSN. The parents in the US. usually apply for their children’s social security number in the hospital after birth. This number lives with his or her holder for whole life, literally.

Who can apply for SSN?

Generally only US citizens, permanent residents (green card holders) and non-citizens (foreigners) who has authorization to work in the US. may apply for SSN.

Why is SSN so important?

  1. SSA – Social Security Administration is responsible for tracking all your life earnings. All your records are connected to your SSN and when you retire, the SSA calculates your benefit payments according to your contribution to the system.
  2. Most importantly your credit or credit history is connected to your SSN and if you don’t have SSN you cannot build credit. I can truly tell you that without SSN is life in the US very difficult. I don’t mean if you are a student for one year or on vacation for two weeks. If you are here for a longer time then it is problem because without SSN you cannot build credit and if you don’t have the credit you cannot apply for a credit card, car loan, mortgage. In most cases, you will have a problem applying for a lease (I tried to apply for a 1-year lease in two places and they told me it is not possible without SSN) If you have a good credit score the lenders consider you a responsible person and they will lend you money with low interests. Honestly whole of America live on depth and if you are not a dollar millionaire you will live on the debth too 🙂

How did I apply for my SSN with E-2 visa?

It was a story. The next day after my arrival I gathered all necessary documents for applying for my SSN. I needed:

  1. Passport with valid visa (your visa must allow you to work in the US. With the E-2 visa that I have I can legally work in my business so I am eligible to apply for SSN)
  2. Form I-94 is arrival record that says when did you arrive in the US. Visit offical website
  3. Form SS-5 is the application for SSN. You can download it here

I Applied only for I-94 and downloaded it for free. Then I filled Form SS-5 and printed both documents in the closest UPC store (you can print your documents there if you don’t have a printer)

I went to the nearest SSA in Torrance and when I arrived I found out that all offices in the US. are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 On the door was the number for emergency requests. I called this number several times without any luck. After 2 hours of calling, I was finally able to speak with an employee SSA. She told me that I can apply only in person and asked me many questions and put me on the list of applicants. Then she added wait for two weeks and we will call you with the date of your appointment. Well, I waited two weeks and nobody was calling. I was frustrated and called them every day and finally, they asked me if I wanna come the next day? I said definitely and the next day I applied for my SSN in that office (they only open for invited applicants) They gave me confirmation and I told me to wait, your SSN card will arrive by mail in one week. Well, it arrived in two weeks but it arrived, finally! I’ve got my SSN and I already opened my first personal bank account and secured credit card in the US. In some next posts, I will share my strategy on how to build the best credit in the shortest time!

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