Anyone applying for a Social Security card for the very first time must show certain documents to the Social Security Administration. The number of documents needed varies from case to case, and in many situations the SSA will accept substitute documents. Additionally, the SSA might even allow for the use of one document as proof of both age and identity, or citizenship and age, for example.
Application-Filing-Service.com is one of the leading organizations that non-U.S. born citizens use to get their Social Security cards quickly and simply. That’s because one of the biggest challenges for applicants is knowing what documents to bring to the interview, being ready for any questions that the SSA agent might ask, and understanding why only original documents are accepted.
Using Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)
Any foreign-born U.S. citizen who applies for a Social Security card for the first time must appear in person, bring a cover sheet, also known as Form SS-5, and other documents to prove age, citizenship and identity. Application-Filing-Service.com can help applicants fill out the Form SS-5 ahead of time.
That means there’s no worry about having to waste time at the Social Security office trying to figure out how to complete the form. A professional filing service can quickly and correctly fill out the SS-5 given your unique data and background information.
Using the CRBA (Consular Report of Birth Abroad), or Form FS-240), is an acceptable way to prove citizenship for purposes of the SSA. To prove your age, you’ll need an original birth certificate. If you don’t have one and are unable to get one within ten days, the SSA will let you use any DHS document that shows your age.
Finally, the CRBA will not be an acceptable form of proof of identity. See the following section for identity-related documentation.
Documents that Prove Citizenship, Age and Identity
In addition to the “cover letter,” or SS-5 form, applicants will need to bring enough documentation to prove to the Social Security Administration their age, identity and citizenship. As noted above, the FS-240 (CRBA) is usually enough to fulfill at least two of the three major category requirements. If, however, you are able to bring an original birth certificate, be sure to do so. The birth certificate and the Form FS-240 will satisfy the citizenship and age documentation requirements.
To prove identity, applicants must bring current documentation that shows the name, age or date of birth, and a recent photograph if one is available. The SSA offers an example of what is considered acceptable for the “proof of identity” category. Their example explains that one of the following will suffice: a valid and current U.S. driver’s license, a non-driver ID card issued by a state, a valid, current U.S. passport.
Applicants who don’t have any of those three items, and are unable to get replacements within ten days, can use other proof of identity in some cases. Whatever the SSA decides to accept must be current, show your age, display your name, and preferably contain a recent photo of your face. Examples of items in this category that are usually accepted by SSA include any one of the following: an employee ID card, a non-Medicare health insurance card, a school ID badge or card, a U.S. military ID card.
Before traveling to the Social Security office, every applicant should double-check that all documents are originals the SS-5 form is filled out correctly. It’s also a good idea to be psychologically ready to answer whatever routine questions the SSA agent might ask.