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SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Old Jun 25th 2013, 7:54 pm
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Default SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Hi, first post on here but wanted to start with saying thanks for all the great advice I've already been able to search on, it was a big help with the process of getting my L1 visa.

My current situation is that I have my visa and plan to move over to Florida with family at end of August. On a recco trip (prior to getting visa) my wife and I found a house we like and are in the process of applying for a mortgage.
From recommendations on this forum I'm talking to Wells Fargo using an introduction from AIG/travelguard. They feel like the right people to help with this and numbers all seem to stack up. The only block I can see right now is that they say I need to have applied for my SSN number prior to closing on the mortgage. To be clear I don't believe I need to have the actual SSN prior to closing, I just need to have applied. I would then need to provide the actual number within 60 days of closing.

As the house (new build) will be ready to close end of July, and I'm currently in the UK, I'm looking to verify if:
1) the only way to apply for the SSN is for me to physically travel to the US prior to closing
2) if others have managed to close on a mortgage without this step

Thanks for any help.
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Originally Posted by BigGH View Post
1) the only way to apply for the SSN is for me to physically travel to the US prior to closing
Yes. You can only apply for a SSN by going to the SS office in person and showing your passport and valid visa. You cannot apply from outside the USA.

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Old Jun 25th 2013, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Thanks, that's what I feared - be nice if my employer could apply for me as really do without an otherwise unnecessary trip.!
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 8:21 pm
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Default Re: SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Originally Posted by BigGH View Post
Thanks, that's what I feared - be nice if my employer could apply for me as really do without an otherwise unnecessary trip.!
Unfortunately, the employer can't do it. SSA needs to see your documents in person, by you, to verify you are who you say you are.

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Old Jun 25th 2013, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Not really my business, but is it such a good idea to buy a house in a new country when you could lose your job and have to leave the US with very little notice? Is it not a better idea to rent first, ideally until you get a green card, but at least until you get to know the area better.
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Originally Posted by BigGH View Post
Thanks, that's what I feared - be nice if my employer could apply for me as really do without an otherwise unnecessary trip.!
Going by what the London Embassy web site says, you can apply in person for a SSN at the Embassy. An appointment is necessary. Email [email protected] for information, see if in your situation they can help.
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Old Jun 26th 2013, 5:21 am
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Default Re: SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Originally Posted by BTJ View Post
Not really my business, but is it such a good idea to buy a house in a new country when you could lose your job and have to leave the US with very little notice? Is it not a better idea to rent first, ideally until you get a green card, but at least until you get to know the area better.
My thoughts exactly.
I'd wait and rent a while.
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Old Jun 26th 2013, 8:03 am
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Default Re: SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Originally Posted by BTJ View Post
Not really my business, but is it such a good idea to buy a house in a new country when you could lose your job and have to leave the US with very little notice? Is it not a better idea to rent first, ideally until you get a green card, but at least until you get to know the area better.
Good points but in this case we do know the area pretty well having spent a couple of months per year there over the last 10 years. Obviously no job totally secure but in my case can only really happen if company goes under (touch wood looks ok for foreseable). To help mitigate risk we have kept our property purchase to a level that we would be comfortable keeping on as a holiday rental should we come back earlier than expected to UK.
Who knows whether will look back and decide was a good idea but then I guess that goes for most big decisions taken.
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Old Jun 26th 2013, 8:13 am
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Default Re: SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Going by what the London Embassy web site says, you can apply in person for a SSN at the Embassy. An appointment is necessary. Email [email protected] for information, see if in your situation they can help.
Thanks for the helpful suggestion. I checked their FAQ and answer is on there:

"3. I have obtained a U.S. Visa that allows me to work in the U.S. Can I apply for a Social Security Card before I travel to the U.S.?

If you have obtained a U.S. Visa that allows you to work in the U.S. you must apply for a Social Security Card after you enter the U.S. You may apply at the nearest Social Security Office. You can obtain the address of the nearest Social Security Office at http://socialsecurity.gov under the heading "Find A Social Security Office". You will need to complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (click HERE to download a PDF of SS-5-FS - PDF, 56kb) and provide the original documents listed above"


Looks like I need an extra trip over to Florida then which is not the end of the world
Does anyone know if the switch from manual I-94 to electronic has had an effect on needing to wait 10 days in between entry and applying at local SS office?
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Old Jun 26th 2013, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Originally Posted by BigGH View Post
"3. I have obtained a U.S. Visa that allows me to work in the U.S. Can I apply for a Social Security Card before I travel to the U.S.?

If you have obtained a U.S. Visa that allows you to work in the U.S. you must apply for a Social Security Card after you enter the U.S. You may apply at the nearest Social Security Office. You can obtain the address of the nearest Social Security Office at http://socialsecurity.gov under the heading "Find A Social Security Office". You will need to complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (click HERE to download a PDF of SS-5-FS - PDF, 56kb) and provide the original documents listed above"


Looks like I need an extra trip over to Florida then which is not the end of the world
On this "extra" trip to the USA, will you be entering the USA using the L-1 visa? Will you start working for your employer on that trip? Reason being, is that if you are admitted using your L-1 visa, then yes...you can apply for the SSN. If you are admitted as a visitor, you can't. SSA will check your status through their system, and if they see you as a visitor, they won't allow you to have a SSN.

Does anyone know if the switch from manual I-94 to electronic has had an effect on needing to wait 10 days in between entry and applying at local SS office?
Not to my knowledge. To my knowledge, it still takes a week to 10 days or so for your information to get in the SAVE system used by SSA.

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Old Jun 26th 2013, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: SSN application needed for Wells Fargo Mortgage - help on quickest way to apply

Yes, I will definitely enter on my L1 visa for this extra trip.

As far as starting work for my new employer, that is an interesting point. While I will use their office on this trip I would probably rather not transfer over my contract/payroll at this time. However, if there's is anything related to showing that I am working for them, such as an employment contract or payroll number, that may be needed for SSN then I have the flexibility to start that process on this trip. Basically I'd like to get all the bases covered to make sure getting the number runs as smoothly as possible.
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