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How do I obtain a social security number as an L2 visa holder ineligible to work?

Birmingham, AL |

I am an 18 year old college freshman who is on an L2 visa here. My family moved here from Canada because my father was sponsored to work here and is now on an L1 visa. Both of my parents have social security numbers. I was rejected for a social security number because "my documents show that I am not allowed to work in the U.S. and I do not have a valid reason to get a non-work Social Security Number." They say to contact them when "my alien status changes, or is renewed, so that I can work in the U.S." I want to obtain a social security number so that I can apply for federal student aid and obtain a job here to help pay for college.

What is the best way for me to obtain a social security number based on my circumstances?

Thank you everyone for your help. I really appreciate it.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    I have edited your question topic to reflect immigration law rather than social security law, as you likely will get more applicable answers from attorneys practicing in that area.

    As far as I can tell, most times an L2 visa holder is allowed to acquire a social security number for non-work purposes by supplying the required documents to the Social Security Administration - I-94, passport, marriage certificate (if an adult), completed ssn application form. If the L2 visa holder is a child then the parents must present the documents and application to Social Security on behalf of the child.

    A child holding a L2 visa may apply for a SSN only under certain conditions, such as a federal or state law requiring a SSN to obtain certain services or benefits. Parents can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the Internal Revenue Service for children who cannot obtain a SSN. Perhaps the ITIN would allow you to seek the financial aid for college - you should speak to your school's financial aid office - they should know the ropes.

    There may be serious repercussions if one works in the United States without a valid alien status document (EAD) authorizing work.

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


  2. You may need to retype the question and post it under the immigration practice area heading. Good luck to you.

    The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  3. Mr. Wayson has given an excellent answer, in which I concur.

    This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as final, nor is it intended as legal advice. A consultation with an experienced attorney is always the best way to go.


  4. You will need to be work authorized or have a reason acceptable to SSA in order to be issued a social security number. There is no way around this.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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