Social Security Number and Employment Authorization
Upon approval of the I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status, a foreign national gains lawful permanent resident status in the United States. They are then eligible to work without having to apply for a separate Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Social Security Number (SSN): Permanent residents must have a Social Security Number to work, pay taxes, and access other government services. If an individual did not request an SSN during the I-485 application process, they should contact a Social Security office to apply after receiving their Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551).
Employment Eligibility Verification: New permanent residents can present their Permanent Resident Card or an unrestricted Social Security card to employers as proof of employment eligibility, commonly verified through Form I-9.
- Acceptable Documents for Employment Verification:
- Permanent Resident Card (Green Card, Form I-551)
- Unrestricted Social Security Card
It is important to note that employers may not require one to have a Social Security number before starting work. However, an individual must obtain one promptly as employers are required to report earnings to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using an SSN.
In summary, following an I-485 approval, a resident has the right to work in the U.S. and should ensure they have a valid SSN. Their new status and SSN facilitate compliance with employment verification and tax obligations.