USCIS seems to be on a strategic course of reforming its procedures to make them more efficient, and we are excited for this latest directive.
You may remember a few weeks ago when we told you that USCIS eliminated unnecessary paperwork in student visa applications by removing the need for an extension application while waiting for an F-1 change of status decision. Well USCIS has worked with the Social Security Administration to lessen paperwork for everyone with its latest rollout: allowing those applying for green cards or lawful permanent resident status to simultaneously apply for social security numbers or replacement cards in their petitions.
Previously, USCIS petitioners had to apply for social security numbers at a social security office, but effective immediately applicants will be able to apply through the revised Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, which now include the additional questions needed to apply for a social security number or a replacement card.
Social security numbers enable government agencies to track an individual's financial information and determine a person's eligibility for social security benefits, and are assigned at birth for those born in the United States. Generally, only noncitizens authorized to work in the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security can get a Social Security number (although exceptions may apply if you can prove you need it for a valid non-work reason). Applying for a social security number and card is free, so please do not let anyone try to charge you for it.
This newest USCIS announcement is one of the first public changes to take place since newly-appointed Ur Jaddou took her place as director of USCIS on August 3, 2021. Jaddou, a California native and daughter of an Iraqi father and Mexican mother, was previously the chief legal counsel at USCIS, and we look forward to seeing what other changes she implements at USCIS.
If you have an immigration issue you would like help with please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.