This is a very common question, but the topic should be divided into many parts to better understand.
First, A Social Security Card affects nearly every aspect of life in the United States, such as:
- Opening/joining a Bank Account
- Being able to file Tax Returns
- Being able to apply for a Driver’s License
- Joining Health Insurance or TRICARE
- Applying for Credit/Credit Card
- Applying for College Enrollment
The Social Security Number is an identification number that helps prove identity.
Second, here is some guidance on applying for a Social Security Card: https://www.fickeymartinezlaw.com/immigration/how-to-apply-for-a-social-security-card-at-the-local-ssa-office-and-what-documents-are-needed-for-immigrants/
Third, it is important to understand that SSA allows a 60-day period out of the 90-day K1 Visa Period to apply for a Social Security Card. More information can be found here: https://www.fickeymartinezlaw.com/immigration/k-1-fiance-visa/how-can-a-k1-visa-holder-get-a-us-social-security-card/
Fourth, a Social Security Card can be annotated and unannotated. The Annotation: VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION means that an Employment Authorization Card, issued by USCIS (a part of DHS), would be required in order to work. More information on the annotation is found here: https://www.fickeymartinezlaw.com/immigration/adjustment-of-status/dhs-annotated-us-social-security-card-versus-an-unannotated-us-social-security-card/
Can a K1 Visa Holder work?
Yes and No. Yes, if they have an EAD Card in hand, and no if they DO NOT have an EAD Card in hand.
Although a K1 Visa Holder can apply for Employment Authorization during the 90-day fiance period under the A6 Category, this option is almost never pursued. It is not economical to apply for employment authorization that would expire within a handful of weeks or days. Additionally, it is not well-welcomed by an employer who would hire a K1 for a few days or weeks, to then terminate employment once the EAD Card expires on the 90th day the K1 is in the US.
Employment Authorization is more commonly applied for under a free I-765 filing with the Adjustment of Status under C9 Category. An EAD Card under this option is valid for 2 years and free. This is more feasible than the A6 Filing Option.
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