Evidence of Nonimmigrant Status for Obtaining a Social Security Card

a.     Evidence for lawfully admitted nonimmigrants

Each alien lawfully admitted as a nonimmigrant should have an unexpired immigration document and an unexpired foreign passport as evidence of his or her status. The data shown on the immigration document and foreign passport should agree. Compare pictures appearing on visas and passports against the applicant for in-person interviews. In some cases, the alien may have a current immigration document, but may not have a foreign passport (e.g. asylees, refugees, parolees, victims of severe forms of trafficking, or certain Canadian citizens). In these situations, accept the unexpired immigration document alone. In other situations, the alien may only have an unexpired foreign passport with an admission stamp.

b.     Evaluating evidence of lawfully admitted nonimmigrant status

 1.      Expired documents or documents expiring within 14 days

Do not process the SSN application when a nonimmigrant submits an expired Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document or one that will expire within 14 days, since we cannot assign an SSN. Refer the applicant to DHS and provide written notice.

2.      Unacceptable documents

The alien must submit the appropriate immigration document. A letter from United States (U.S.) Immigration Authorities, receipt, copy of an application form, or any immigration document not listed in this subchapter is not acceptable evidence of alien status. If an alien submits one of these documents in lieu of the appropriate immigration document, do not process the SSN application.

c.      Description of admission stamp on I-94 or in foreign passport

The admission stamp in an unexpired foreign passport can also establish being lawfully admitted to the United States. The admission stamp may appear on the I-94 or unexpired foreign passport. Beginning April 2013, CBP will only place the admission stamp in the unexpired foreign passport and provide the traveler with an I-94 Automation Tearsheet that instructs travelers to request an I-94 printout from CBP’s website if an employer, local, state, or federal agency requests I-94 admission information.

It is important to note that if the unexpired foreign passport contains multiple admission stamps, the most recent U.S. admission stamp will be used to process the SSN application.

The admission stamp displays:
  • Information about the DHS, CBP field office having jurisdiction over the port of entry;
  • Information about the alien’s port of entry and date of admission;
  • A four-digit stamp identification number; and
  • The alien’s class of admission and validity date (e.g. the date admitted until) endorsed in ink by the admitting officer
The unexpired foreign passport displays the following pertinent information:
  • Last name – this is the Family Name or Surname as it appears in the visa. If there is no visa, this is the Family Name or Surname shown on the biographic page of the passport
  • First Name – this is the Given Name or First Name as it appears in the visa. If there is no visa, this is the Given Name or First Name shown on the biographic page of the passport
  • Birth Date (MM/DD/YYYY)
  • Passport Number – this is the number as it appears in the passport biographic page, and may contain numbers or letters
  • Passport County of Issuance – this is the country of citizenship as it appears in the passport


Need additional information and advice?

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JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office is located at
2975 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 352
Los Angeles, California 90010

Office hours are Monday to Saturday from 9:00AM to 9:00PM (Appointment Preferred)

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