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Social Security Number

Social Security Number

Old Dec 29th 2002, 8:31 pm
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We are moving over to Florida early next year on L1 & L2 visa's. My husband is the L2 holder. We will need a Social Security Number to open a bank account, get a mortgage, buy a car etc. Can my husband get a number if he does not have authorisation to work (my L1 visa is only valid until August - due to an INS delay - don't ask!!) until we get our visa extensions we didn't think that it would be worth getting his employment authorisation visa.

Has anyone any tips on overcoming the issue of his SSN.
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Old Dec 29th 2002, 10:46 pm
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Just walk into the local Socoal Security Office and carry all your identification papers relative to show Visa(s) and Passports etc.
You will be given a working SS# and you Spouse will be given a non-working SS#. The latter are given specifically to allow people to open bank accounts etc. Best also to then apply for and get driving licenses as well as these are used a lot for identification puroposes. The test is quite short (BUT read the book well beforehand) an eye test and sometimes a short driving piece (usually in a non road situation to show you can revers and basically handle a car).
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Old Dec 30th 2002, 10:25 pm
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Originally posted by IanR
Just walk into the local Socoal Security Office and carry all your identification papers relative to show Visa(s) and Passports etc.
You will be given a working SS# and you Spouse will be given a non-working SS#. The latter are given specifically to allow people to open bank accounts etc. Best also to then apply for and get driving licenses as well as these are used a lot for identification puroposes. The test is quite short (BUT read the book well beforehand) an eye test and sometimes a short driving piece (usually in a non road situation to show you can revers and basically handle a car).
Sorry Ian, have to disagree. I am on a dependents visa and they will not give me a SSN. I have been here 2.5 years and still don't have one. Unless I have a working visa or a green card they will not give me one.
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Old Dec 31st 2002, 2:18 am
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Absolutely true Suebo

Without authorization to work YOU CANNOT obtain a SSN.
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Old Dec 31st 2002, 5:02 am
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I think you will find what Suebo and NorthSouth have stated about the SSN to be true.
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Old Dec 31st 2002, 9:40 am
  #6  
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How do we open a bank account & get a mortgage in joint names, if only one of us has the SSN?
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Old Dec 31st 2002, 5:35 pm
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The very first thing you want to do when you arrive in the country (apart from finding somewhere to stay) is to visit the local Social Security office and request a SSN for the L1 holder. You'll need all your paperwork to prove the right to work.

The SSN will take a few days to be issued: they usually give you a phone number to call for the number before the card arrives in the post.

Here in California, Bank of America allowed us to open accounts before the SSN was issued. They just used 000-00-0000 as the SSN number. However, when we did finally have SSNs, it took BoA literally months to get all their various databases updated with the correct number, so it's very much worth waiting until you have a valid SSN number.

When we arrived in 2001, I was on an L1a and my wife was on an L2. To be honest, I can't remember if they issued my wife an SSN at the same time or after her H1b approval arrived: she isn't around to ask just now.

I recommend getting at least one SSN for L1 holder and talking to the bank you choose about having a joint acc. with only one SSN. Don't think it should be a problem, but really depends on the bank, some can be spectacularly backward in attitudes & procedures - worth shopping around.

The mortgage will be a bigger challenge: no credit history. This will severly limit your mortgage options, even with a large deposit. Recommend taking a secured credit card with the US bank you choose. Almost certainly nobody will give you a normal one straight away.

Best of luck!
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Old Dec 31st 2002, 9:35 pm
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I know very little about the SSN #'s for spouses, I have lived here since 1980's, plus we both could work.
Re, buying property you will be able to obtain a mortgage, but due to your lack of credit report (They will not usually consider your foreign credit report) you may have to get a "No Income Verification Mortgage". This usually requires 30% deposit, some banks or Lenders will require 40%. With these higher down payments, they are taking less risk.
Re, Credit/Charge cards: As some one else said, take a "Secured Credit Card", i.e. deposit $1000 with them they give you $1000 max card. Other method is go to a large Dept Store or even Today’s Man Store. They will issue you an on the spot charge card $500 max. On the application form, it will ask for an already owned credit card # just put your Visa or MC or Amex number from UK or wherever.
With both of these cards % rates will be high. Spend say $200, when the bill comes in pay the full amount instantly. Do not spend to the full card amount, never more then 50% of limit (This is known as MAXED OUT or High Ratio spending, Over Extended). Do this for 6 months. It takes about 3 months for this info to show on your Credit Report". 6 months - 1 year later, you will get tired of opening the Credit Card offers in the mail.
PS. When you get new & cheaper cards close the Store cards & secured Cards.
I use credit reports in my business, so beware: SSN# needed for almost everything in USA. They are obsessed by Credit Reports. Even to rent an apartment. Insurance Companies & employers, do a credit check on you. Somewhere on the application, you sign to give them permission to get a credit report, even Car In insurance. You can have great credit, but if you have too much cards even with zero balance, they will deny you on the grounds of either being over extended or the ability to throw a WOBBLY & run out & use all your cards. A friend of mine just got turned down for a $1000 per month apartment without a guarantor. He makes $250k but credit stinks.

Reg. . Frank R.
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Old Jan 1st 2003, 8:50 am
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Your Husband cannot have a SS#, but he can have an ITIN number which you will require for your Tax returns, if he doesn't get his SS# before you file your first tax return.

After you get your extension L1, your husband can get his EAD as an L2 holder. I don't know if the EAD's cost the same across the country but here in NY it costs $130 and takes approx. 90 days to come through, apparently. Once you have that EAD, you then go to the SS office and get your number. Knowing how long it takes for the EAD to come through, will give you an idea of whether you will need to apply for an ITIN number or not.

Bring documentation of credit history with you (two years worth of bills from mortgage, car loans, utilities and bank statements). For some people, this seems to have helped them get things like mortgage and car loans. Some still seem to need the help of their companies with these things too, but not all.

If you don't think your company will help you out at all, then look at other ways of getting car and mortgage, if you can.
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Old Jan 2nd 2003, 12:46 am
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The L1a visa holder will get a SS# at the local SS office, you will need your Passport with the visa and most importantly your I-94 card (as this overides all visas). Your spouse can get a tax ID # when they apply for the EAD. You will also need these documents for your Florida drivers licence, which incidentially is valid only for the length of the I-94. You can open a bank account in joint names using only 1 SS# and your spouses passport #. In fact I opened the bank account using only passport #'s. I hope this helps.
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Old Jan 2nd 2003, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: SS#

Originally posted by alwaysared
The L1a visa holder will get a SS# at the local SS office, you will need your Passport with the visa and most importantly your I-94 card (as this overides all visas). Your spouse can get a tax ID # when they apply for the EAD. You will also need these documents for your Florida drivers licence, which incidentially is valid only for the length of the I-94. You can open a bank account in joint names using only 1 SS# and your spouses passport #. In fact I opened the bank account using only passport #'s. I hope this helps.
I don't know if I have mis-understood what you have put here, but you can't get an EAD on an ITIN number. the ITIN number is purely for tax purposes so the worker can claim them as a dependent on the tax returns.

L2 spouses can apply for an EAD regardless of their ITIN (tax ID).
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Old Jan 2nd 2003, 10:25 pm
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You need a TTIN to work even if you have a EAD as you don't get a SS number and you will need one or the other to work!
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Old Jan 2nd 2003, 10:34 pm
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Originally posted by kazzuk
How do we open a bank account & get a mortgage in joint names, if only one of us has the SSN?
The account will have to opened in the SSN Name and the other will have to sign on as a secondary. This means that the account will be in both names and you will both have flexi cards to withdraw from, but the majority of the business will have to be done by the SSN holder. Regarding the house, it can not be put in joint names - only the person that has the SSN. Our loans got held up due to this, because we wanted it in both names. Alas, I had to cave and the house is just in hubby's name. Any loans that you want to take out, you will have to have a SSN or no go. Basically the way that I feel is that I do not exist and do not have any credit history after 2.5 years. It is a pain in the butt.
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Old Jan 3rd 2003, 3:28 pm
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In CA, my drivers license is valid for the standard DMV period (5 years max - easy to renew), which is linked to date of birth and is beyond the I-94 date. Florida obviously does things a bit differently, no surprise there...
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Old Jan 3rd 2003, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: SS#

Originally posted by Ben
I don't know if I have mis-understood what you have put here, but you can't get an EAD on an ITIN number. the ITIN number is purely for tax purposes so the worker can claim them as a dependent on the tax returns.

L2 spouses can apply for an EAD regardless of their ITIN (tax ID).
I know that L2 spouses can apply for an EAD regardless of their ITIN number, but I was always led to believe that even after I apply for my EAD, I would still have to go for my SS number, even though I have an ITIN. Isn't this the case then? Once I have my EAD, I can use my ITIN as a SS number from that point onwards? When I went to the SS office, they told me I would have to go back to them to get my SS number once I have received my EAD.
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