US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have a new information-sharing partnership that now allows foreign nationals in certain categories or classifications to apply for work authorization along with a Social Security number using only one form—namely, the updated Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Since some foreign workers in certain categories and classifications need both an employment authorization document (EAD) and a Social Security number (SSN), this is a welcome development that streamlines the process. Previously, applicants had to first submit Form I-765 to USCIS for an EAD, and afterwards submit additional paperwork in-person at their local Social Security office to obtain a Social Security number.
Effective October 2, 2017, USCIS is now transmitting the additional data collected on the revised I-765 form to the SSA for processing. The I-765 includes additional questions that allow applicants to apply for an SSN or replacement card without needing to make an in-person visit to a Social Security office. Going forward, applicants who receive their approved EADs from USCIS should also receive their Social Security card from the SSA approximately two weeks after the EAD is issued. Applicants should be sure to use the revised Form I-765 when requesting employment authorization along with the Social Security number.