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[H1-B] SSN, driver's license

[H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Old Oct 12th 2014, 10:44 am
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Default [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Hi all,

I have an approved H1-B petition for 2014 entry. Yay!
My passport was stamped in London back in June.

My start date at work is Monday, 3rd November. I am arriving 10 days earlier, on Friday 24th October, in SFO (I will be working in Palo Alto, CA).

My two questions are:
  1. How long should I wait before going to the SSA office to apply for an SSN?
    Do I have to wait 10 days? My employer has been vague when I asked them this, they seemed to think 3-4 days were enough.
    I have paperwork (form I-9, W-4) I will need to fill in on my first day requiring a SSN...
  2. Once I get an SSN, I can apply for a driver's license.
    I already have a full French driving license. On other discussion threads I read that I could receive a 90-day temporary license, on top of the learner's permit. Do I need to ask specifically for it?
Thanks a bunch!

timkins

EDIT: I should probably add why I am confused about SSN delays.
Quoted from Immigration/HR at my company:
Once you arrive on a Tuesday or Wednesday, by the Thursday you can apply at the local social security administration. The I-94s are done electronically now and have a more immediate in the system kind of action

Last edited by timkin; Oct 12th 2014 at 10:57 am.
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Old Oct 12th 2014, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Congratulations.
What type of job?
Renting?
Living near the job?

Enjoy the traffic
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Old Oct 12th 2014, 9:14 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Originally Posted by timkin View Post

EDIT: I should probably add why I am confused about SSN delays.
Quoted from Immigration/HR at my company:
Few threads on this recently, about the change in system...depending on who you ask, get told to give it a week, or not....so flip a coin and decide.

If you've got a Frog license, might want to see if there's a reciprocal agreement to just swap it, which they don't have with UK licenses. That should save you time and hassle if you can.

Other wise, plenty of threads for license in CA.
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 8:37 am
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
Congratulations.
What type of job?
Renting?
Living near the job?

Enjoy the traffic
Thanks!
Pretty much the stereotype: software engineer . Renting yes. Hopefully nearby!

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Few threads on this recently, about the change in system...depending on who you ask, get told to give it a week, or not....so flip a coin and decide.

If you've got a Frog license, might want to see if there's a reciprocal agreement to just swap it, which they don't have with UK licenses. That should save you time and hassle if you can.

Other wise, plenty of threads for license in CA.
So, that's a "don't know" I gather? I might go in on the Tuesday then, I'd really like to sort it all out ASAP.
I've already looked into reciprocity agreements, neither CA (nor neighbouring states) do license swaps... So I'm already reading their driver's handbook.
That question was about temporary licenses in particular, as I have seen conflicting statements about them here.

Cheers guys for the replies so far.
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 10:09 am
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Originally Posted by timkin View Post
Thanks!
Pretty much the stereotype: software engineer . Renting yes. Hopefully nearby!


So, that's a "don't know" I gather? I might go in on the Tuesday then, I'd really like to sort it all out ASAP.
I've already looked into reciprocity agreements, neither CA (nor neighbouring states) do license swaps... So I'm already reading their driver's handbook.
That question was about temporary licenses in particular, as I have seen conflicting statements about them here.

Cheers guys for the replies so far.
My wife (PR) has a French DL, she was given a 10yr FL license, no test required.
SSN: SSA stated that “if you requested a SSN card as part of your visa application, there would be no need to apply again or go to a SS office.”

In fact she was later told to go to the SS office and apply. Took about 15 days I think.
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 10:27 am
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Originally Posted by audio View Post
My wife (PR) has a French DL, she was given a 10yr FL license, no test required.
SSN: SSA stated that “if you requested a SSN card as part of your visa application, there would be no need to apply again or go to a SS office.”

In fact she was later told to go to the SS office and apply. Took about 15 days I think.
Yes, FL is one of the states with a bilateral agreement with France. Sadly CA is not one of them

H1-B visas are not immigrant/PR visas, so I doubt a SSN card was requested.

Thanks anyway!
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Originally Posted by timkin View Post
..... H1-B visas are not immigrant/PR visas, so I doubt a SSN card was requested. ....
That is a non sequiteur. H1-B visas are work visas, so an SSN will be required to enable your employer to withhold taxes and social security for you.
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
That is a non sequiteur. H1-B visas are work visas, so an SSN will be required to enable your employer to withhold taxes and social security for you.
Sure, I am not arguing that point!
Rather, I think it is up to me to apply for the SSN by turning up to the SSA office.

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Old Oct 13th 2014, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

At what point do the systems get updated to allow you to apply for a SSN?
We had visas approved on 7th October, petition valid from 5th November which means allowed to enter on the visa from 26th October but my wife doesn't start work until 1st December. We will be in the US for a week from 25th October, returning 2nd November. We then go out on the visas on 17th November.
When can we go to the office to get an SSN? Could we do it in the week we're out there? Or would we have to wait until after 17th November?
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Originally Posted by smarty156 View Post
At what point do the systems get updated to allow you to apply for a SSN?
We had visas approved on 7th October, petition valid from 5th November which means allowed to enter on the visa from 26th October but my wife doesn't start work until 1st December. We will be in the US for a week from 25th October, returning 2nd November. We then go out on the visas on 17th November.
When can we go to the office to get an SSN? Could we do it in the week we're out there? Or would we have to wait until after 17th November?
You can't apply for an SSN until you have entered on your work visa, so in the scenario you outlined, after November 17.
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 3:20 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

I went to social security office with I-94 two days after landing on visa, got SSN verbally the next day and card arrived 5 days later. The ten day wait was not necessary.
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Thanks Pulaski. I did think that would be the case but wanted to check.
What do you need to take to the office to get an SSN?
I'll be on an H4 so I'll need a letter from them stating I'm not eligible for an SSN to give to the DMV when I apply for a DL. Do I just take my passport/visa?
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 4:35 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Originally Posted by Relobotomy View Post
I went to social security office with I-94 two days after landing on visa, got SSN verbally the next day and card arrived 5 days later. The ten day wait was not necessary.
Thanks, this is what I was looking for.
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Originally Posted by Relobotomy View Post
I went to social security office with I-94 two days after landing on visa, got SSN verbally the next day and card arrived 5 days later. The ten day wait was not necessary.
When was this?
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Old Oct 13th 2014, 10:57 pm
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Default Re: [H1-B] SSN, driver's license

Originally Posted by timkin View Post
Thanks!
Pretty much the stereotype: software engineer .
Good luck. I came over with Adobe, to work on a six month project.

That was 15 years ago...
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