Applying for Your Social Security Card

Step 1 – Gather Your Documents

  • Print your I-94 Card (Click on “Get Most Recent I-94” at the top of the page)
  • Print your Participation Letter (on your au pair portal)
  • Complete the Social Security Card Application
    • In box 5 for citizenship information, check off “Legal Alien Allowed To Work”.
    • If there are any questions you are unsure about, leave them blank and ask at your appointment.
  • Take the following documents with you to the SS Office::
    • passport/visa
    • DS-2019
    • country driver’s license
    • international driver’s permit or certified translation
    • participation letter
    • I-94 card
    • completed SS application form

Step 2 – Go to the Social Security Office

After you have been in the U.S. for at least 4 days*, you may go to your local Social Security Office. Social Security has resumed walk-in service at all locations.

*As of September 2022, some au pairs have reported being told by the Social Security office that they should wait two weeks before going to apply for their SS card. There appears to be a delay in arrival information being uploaded to their database. You may go before 2 weeks, but please understand that you may encounter a problem.

  • Go to the Social Security Office Locator to find an office near you.
  • Social Security Offices tend to be busiest early in the month, early in the week, and early in the day. Avoiding those times should reduce your wait time.

Step 3 – Receive Card in the Mail

  • When your card comes in the mail, save the envelope and everything inside. (Very important for getting your MD driver’s license.)
  • Once you have your social security card, protect this important private information.
  • Keep your card at home unless you are going somewhere that you know you will need it.
  • Do not share this number with anyone unless it’s for an official purpose or service that you have contacted (such as with your host family, the bank, DMV or tax preparer).
  • Beware of anyone who calls you on the phone asking for this number. Do not share any personal information with someone calling you, even if the caller ID looks like it is a business you know.  There are many scams that involve calling you and acting like a business you know to steal your personal information and money.