Applying for Your Social Security Card

Au pairs should wait until they have been in the U.S. for at least 4 days before going to apply for their Social Security card. You may go before 4 days, but please understand that you may encounter a problem. If an au pair’s information is not yet in the database, the application cannot be processed at the time and will get put to the side and processed at a later date. This can lead to a much longer wait for the card to arrive in the mail.

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
    • Be sure to fill out the application listing your name EXACTLY as it is shown on your visa. If you have more than one first or last name, it could be listed differently than how you would think.
    • 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

No appointments are needed. Social Security has resumed walk-in service at all locations.

  • 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 the 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.

Information on Opening a Bank Account can found here