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Revised Adjustment of Status Form Allows Foreign Nationals to Apply Concurrently for Permanent Residence and an Unrestricted Social Security Number


  • A new edition of Form I-485, dated 03/29/21, allows applicants to request a Social Security Number or a replacement Social Security card permitting unrestricted work authorization when they apply for permanent resident status.
  • Under the new process, adjustment of status applicants will not need to submit additional paperwork in person at a Social Security Office to obtain a new number or replacement card.

Social Security Number/Card through AOS Petition

Applicants filing for lawful permanent resident or “green card” status on Form I-485 are now able to concurrently apply for a Social Security number (SSN) or replacement Social Security card as part of the adjustment of status (AOS) application process, according to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcement issued today. Previously, foreign nationals had to provide additional paperwork in person at a local Social Security Office to obtain a new SSN or a replacement card after their green card was approved. Now, they can use the revised Form I-485, dated 03/29/21, which will become mandatory starting October 13, 2021, to make this request and have the new or replacement card sent directly to them after the adjudication of their case.

After a foreign national’s green card application is approved, they are eligible for a SSN that permits them to work without restriction. Prior to approval, their SSNs could be valid for work only with DHS authorization, or in some cases, not valid for employment at all.

Revised Form I-485

The revised Form I-485 contains four new questions related to the issuance of a new or replacement Social Security card, including whether the foreign national would like the Social Security Administration (SSA) to issue a new card after the issuance of the green card.  After approving Form I-485, USCIS in most cases will electronically transmit the data to the SSA, which will then automatically assign an original Social Security number or issue a replacement card.

According to USCIS, applicants should receive their new or replacement card within two weeks of receiving their green card. 

Looking ahead

If the process works as expected, eligible foreign nationals could see their SSN applications processed more quickly. 

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