General Information About Social Security: The Social Security system was set up
in the 1930s to provide financial assistance to the disabled and elderly.
Employers and employees are required to pay social security taxes to contribute
to this fund. Each United States citizen and permanent resident (Green Card
holder) has a unique social security number in order to maintain records of the
funds being established, as well as to allocate benefits to those who are
entitled to receive them.
Some temporary visitors, students and workers on non-immigrant visas are also
allowed and sometimes required to obtain a Social Security number. The Social
Security card is a very important document in the United States. Not only does
it entitle the individual to certain benefits once retired, but employers,
banks, schools and the USCIS all use the social security card as a form of
identification. Social Security is a complex system that is linked to many other
government and private and databases and services.
Social Security Card Eligibility Requirements: Any person seeking employment in
the United States needs a Social Security number and a Social Security Card. A
Social Security number is also required when filing taxes. Not everyone is
eligible to receive a Social Security card. Social Security cards are usually
only issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents (Green Card holders) and
individuals with permission to work in the United States. However, there are 2
types of social security cards that are issued to foreigners without work
authorization, as well as foreign students and individuals on temporary visas.
These Social Security Cards contain one of the following restrictions printed on them:
- VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION
- NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT
Important: Individuals who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number
can apply for ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).