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Greencard Problem

Greencard Problem

Old Apr 17th 2013, 1:18 am
  #1  
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Default Greencard Problem

Hi All, My wife and I arrived in the US on 31 December 12. Although I was advised at immigration my SSN would be posted out to me, it wasn't. I have since applied for a SSN via my local SSN office. In addition I received my Greencard quite impressively 3 weeks after my arrival. However they had put the wrong date of birth on the card, so I had to return it requesting a new card. That was at the end of January and I am still waiting! As I don't yet have an SSN number, and I've been told my Greencard could take up to 4 months from 5th Feb, I have been unable to seek employment. My question is - does anyone know if there is either a way around the above problem; or a way to speed it up? Not being able to work for 4 months is breaking the bank, not to mention tediously boring. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 1:34 am
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

As far as I am aware, your stamped immigration visa should act as a temporary green card for 1 year. That should be enough to file an I-9 to take up employment.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 1:37 am
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

You absolutely can start to "seek work" immediately and I think that you should even be able to start work using the endorsed immigrant visa in your passport as proof of your permanent resident status.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 1:43 am
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

Thanks both of you for your help on this matter. I wasn't aware that I could use my Visa for work purposes. Could I ask - what about my SSN? If there timescale is anything to go by I hope to get that this week. But that is a big IF! Won't I need a SSN for tax purposes? Thanks again
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 1:52 am
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

Originally Posted by kensella13 View Post
Thanks both of you for your help on this matter. I wasn't aware that I could use my Visa for work purposes. Could I ask - what about my SSN? If there timescale is anything to go by I hope to get that this week. But that is a big IF! Won't I need a SSN for tax purposes? Thanks again
You will need an SSN sooner or later - but you can start work without it.
See form I-9.
http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 1:54 am
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

You do need an SSN but you can start work without one and your employer can update their records when it arrived.

To be honest though, unless you have something already lined up it is likely to take weeks or months to find a job by which time your SSN should definitely have arrived - start looking now!
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 1:58 am
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

I feel such an idiot waiting all this time for my cards. Thanks guys I truly appreciate your valuable help. I take on board what you said, it is likely to take some time to get a job. Thanks again guys, I'll sleep well tonight.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 2:15 am
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
You absolutely can start to "seek work" immediately and I think that you should even be able to start work using the endorsed immigrant visa in your passport as proof of your permanent resident status.
Correct, I started work a few days after I stepped off the plane at a job I was hired locally for (the visa/GC was issued on the basis of Mrs P being a USC, so my employer had not been part of any L1, H1 etc. visa process), but I didn't get my green card until 6 weeks later.

Not that it matters now, but you could have waited and got your green card corrected later, after starting employment. My green card had TWO material errors: they changed my nationality (British->Irish), and changed my surname to another English word (like Jones->Bones ), but it took me around two years to get it corrected. This was plenty bad enough under any circumstances, but particularly notable because my green card, a photo ID issued by the federal government l, was issued with these errors just two months after 9/11!

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 17th 2013 at 2:21 am.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 2:39 am
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

I had the SAME PROBLEM. Good to know things haven't changed one iota in five flipping years!

It was a complete nightmare to sort out, actually, so I hope your situation is slightly different and you can get things moving along quicker. In a nutshell:

- When I came through immigration in Chicago, some muppet entered the wrong name with my A# number (hint: my name is NOT Jose Gomez, and I am NOT from Mexico). Everything else on file was me (date of birth, parents information, address... etc.), but because the name didn't match mine, the SSA wouldn't issue me a SSN using my visa or permanent resident card.

- The only way I could fix this was to go all around the houses for four f.cking months. I went to my local USCIS center, in Milwaukee, to the Milwaukee airport's international terminal (where I found out about the whole Jose Gomez disaster from a very nice immigration officer), back to USCIS... I called the SSA I don't know how many times, went to my local SSA office I don't know how many times... and eventually...

- I got my local representative involved, on the advice of some of the wonderful people on this forum! I would NOT have got this solved if it hadn't been for that. I called, filled in a form, went down to the Rep's local office, and one of his team intervened. After waiting four months with no luck, within two days of involving a politician (bloody Paul Ryan, no less) it was all sorted out. I had my SSN about a week later.

- I was allowed to start work without my SSN or an ITIN, but my employers would badger me about getting it all the time. I printed out some documentation about my legal standing without an SSN and that appeased them for a while, but I could tell they were nervous about taxes and stuff. Thankfully everything got sorted out eventually and they were able to relax.

SO: my advice to you is to start looking for work, but also start calling around and getting as much information as you can. You really don't want to find out that some bozo in an office mistyped something on your application and it's held everything up indefinitely. Seriously: get calling, go visit offices in person, and maybe think about involving your local Representative if you don't make any progress.

Here's the saga of my own SSN horror for your amusement: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=520621

Good luck!
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 3:15 am
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

Originally Posted by kensella13 View Post
Thanks both of you for your help on this matter. I wasn't aware that I could use my Visa for work purposes. Could I ask - what about my SSN? If there timescale is anything to go by I hope to get that this week. But that is a big IF! Won't I need a SSN for tax purposes? Thanks again
You've got to provide your SSN within I think 90 days of employment and till then, the maximum amount of tax will be withheld.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 6:51 pm
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

If you've applied for the SSN via the local office and they put in the application, you should be able to get back the next day and get a confirmation letter from them with your SSN on it. According to the SSO in Vegas, they SSNs are assigned by an overnight process so they will have the SSN for you the next day, the card itself will take longer.

IIRC employers have to accept that letter instead of an SSN card - it worked fine for me because we did exactly that for my SSN.
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Old Apr 24th 2013, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

Originally Posted by TimNiceBut View Post
If you've applied for the SSN via the local office and they put in the application, you should be able to get back the next day and get a confirmation letter from them with your SSN on it. According to the SSO in Vegas, they SSNs are assigned by an overnight process so they will have the SSN for you the next day, the card itself will take longer.

IIRC employers have to accept that letter instead of an SSN card - it worked fine for me because we did exactly that for my SSN.
+1
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Old Apr 26th 2013, 9:32 am
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Default Re: Greencard Problem

We had to go into our local office and get a letter with our SSN on it (they actually ordered replacement cards for us as it had been ages since we applied), which we were able to use at work.
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