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Possible previous SSN

Possible previous SSN

Old Sep 19th 2017, 3:25 pm
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Default Possible previous SSN

We should hear back about our L1 visa petition by the end of this week. In the meantime I'm trying to get paperwork organised.

I spent a year in the US on a J-1 visa in 1991 and I'm wondering whether or not I had a SSN. Certainly a quick internet search shows that J1 visa holders are required to have a SSN now so can I assume it was the same 26 years ago? I've googled for an image of a social security card circa 1991 and it does look vaguely familiar but a search through my paperwork and scrapbooks has failed to find one.

Does anyone know if they can quickly check if I ever had one and if it is going to delay me getting a number? It was in my maiden name so will need to show my marriage certificate. Would it be better not to mention that I'm unsure whether or not I had one in the past or would that just cause more problems if it turns out I did?
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Old Sep 19th 2017, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

Originally Posted by Tillymin View Post
We should hear back about our L1 visa petition by the end of this week. In the meantime I'm trying to get paperwork organised.

I spent a year in the US on a J-1 visa in 1991 and I'm wondering whether or not I had a SSN. Certainly a quick internet search shows that J1 visa holders are required to have a SSN now so can I assume it was the same 26 years ago? I've googled for an image of a social security card circa 1991 and it does look vaguely familiar but a search through my paperwork and scrapbooks has failed to find one.

Does anyone know if they can quickly check if I ever had one and if it is going to delay me getting a number? It was in my maiden name so will need to show my marriage certificate. Would it be better not to mention that I'm unsure whether or not I had one in the past or would that just cause more problems if it turns out I did?
A social security number is yours for life. Contact the Social Security Administration to ascertain how to find if you have an existing number.
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Old Sep 19th 2017, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

If you had one in the past it isn't going to delay things, it will more likely speed it up. A visit to the SSA office (which are in most cities) should tell you.
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Old Sep 19th 2017, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

J-1s are not *required* to have an SSN (I spent time in the US in 1998 on a J-1 but never had a SSN).
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Old Sep 19th 2017, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

Thanks for the replies. So I guess I'll just go with my husband when he applies for his and get them to start process to check if I had one. My friend that was with me in the US also has a feeling we had one but she can't find any evidence of hers (which seems odd because we both still have old receipts, ticket stubs, beer mats, cheque books and other useless stuff from our year out there!)
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Old Sep 19th 2017, 4:59 pm
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
J-1s are not *required* to have an SSN (I spent time in the US in 1998 on a J-1 but never had a SSN).
That's interesting. We were getting paid which makes me think we must have had one. Were you receiving any money?
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Old Sep 19th 2017, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

Had a J-1 in 1996 and did not have a SSN.

Originally Posted by Tillymin View Post
We should hear back about our L1 visa petition by the end of this week. In the meantime I'm trying to get paperwork organised.

I spent a year in the US on a J-1 visa in 1991 and I'm wondering whether or not I had a SSN. Certainly a quick internet search shows that J1 visa holders are required to have a SSN now so can I assume it was the same 26 years ago? I've googled for an image of a social security card circa 1991 and it does look vaguely familiar but a search through my paperwork and scrapbooks has failed to find one.

Does anyone know if they can quickly check if I ever had one and if it is going to delay me getting a number? It was in my maiden name so will need to show my marriage certificate. Would it be better not to mention that I'm unsure whether or not I had one in the past or would that just cause more problems if it turns out I did?

Last edited by neill; Sep 19th 2017 at 5:19 pm.
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Old Sep 19th 2017, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

Yes: but I was a camp counsellor so it was pennies (literally about $170, cash in hand. Ah those were the days). I can't remember now whether we were paid through the organisation that sent us to avoid us needing to get an SSN or whether the amount was so low that it did not need to be declared.
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Old Sep 19th 2017, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

Originally Posted by Tillymin View Post
Thanks for the replies. So I guess I'll just go with my husband when he applies for his and get them to start process to check if I had one. ....
If you apply for a new one they will automatically check if one has already been issued previously for you, and you will be sent a new card for the old number. You can't get a different number even if you wanted one - as Nutmegger said above, it's yours for life.

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 19th 2017 at 9:21 pm.
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Old Sep 19th 2017, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
Yes: but I was a camp counsellor so it was pennies (literally about $170, cash in hand. Ah those were the days). I can't remember now whether we were paid through the organisation that sent us to avoid us needing to get an SSN or whether the amount was so low that it did not need to be declared.
My OH was a camp counselor on a J-1 and he didn't get a SSN but I did Work America on a J-1 and I did get one. You used to be able to contact the FBU at the London Embassy which is where I retrieved my number from but dont think they do that any more.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 4:38 am
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

I worked in a summer camp in 2012, and got a SSN. I'm assuming should I need a SSN, this one I can use? I could have done with this when I opened my bank account, the SSN section of the process caused hiccoughs! DOH!
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 6:05 am
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

I had a J-1 in 1990 - I only got a SSN when I started some on-campus work. If you were on payroll somewhere, you probably had one.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 10:36 am
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

So it seems it's not clear cut on whether I would or wouldn't have had one. I was an au pair and paid $100 a week by my host family. I will stop worrying about it and see what they say it we finally get out there. Keeping my fingers crossed that we don't get a RFE this week and more delays!
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Old Sep 23rd 2017, 2:53 am
  #14  
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

When I applied for a SSN in 1999 they found my old number and sent me a new card with it on. (I did 6 month on a J-1 in 1990.)
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Old Sep 23rd 2017, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Possible previous SSN

Wait, I also worked whilst on a J1 visa and had a SSN.

My 'card' (its really a piece of fancy paper) is stamped 'VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION'.

Now I'm moving to the states on a K1 visa do I keep the same SSN?
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