Social Security Numbers for Noncitizens

Social Security numbers (SSNs) are for reporting your wages to the government and tracking your Social Security benefits. Generally, you must have permission to work in the United States to get an SSN.

If you have a legal immigration status that allows you to work, contact your local Social Security office to apply for a number. You need to prove your identity, age, and work-authorized immigration status. Find an office near you:

Many companies, such as banks and credit companies, may ask for your SSN. You don't have to provide one if you don’t have one. Warning: using a fake SSN can hurt your immigration case.

If you don't have permission to work in the US

You can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Visit the IRS in person, or call the IRS toll-free number, 1-800-TAXFORM (1-800-829-3676), and ask for the "Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number."


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Last Reviewed: May 22, 2023