Skip to main content

I have a social security card that says "Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization".

New York, NY |

I have a social security that says "Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization".
Can I apply to go to college with this card ?

I have friends (they were approve by deferred action program by Obama), they are in college with the same SS card and they are studying without problem.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 6


Studying and working are two different things. You don't need DHS work authorization to apply for college. Please see

Mr. Shusterman's (former INS Trial Attorney, 1976-82) response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


Carl is right as often. Studying and working are two different things. Very different indeed. You need no permission to apply for college. In fact, I am not sure you even need a SS number.

The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,not should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.


Your social security number is yours to use as any SSN with the limitation that you need to present proof of the ability to work legally with it to an employer. Study away.


The college likely does not require you to provide your social security card, just the number. Whether the card provides for work authorization has no effect on studying. Whether you can study depends on the conditions of your current visa and status.

*IMPORTANT: Do not rely on Attorney Murray's response as the information provided on this website is NOT legal advice nor is it a substitute for legal advice which requires a consultation with a lawyer. Attorney Murray's response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. If you have any specific questions concerning a legal issue, you should consult a lawyer. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on a Q&A website such as Avvo. Attorney Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during an attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private attorney-client consultation. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, an attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted on Avvo are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual. New Jersey residents: NO ASPECT OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY. The selection methodology for the SuperLawyers' "Rising Stars" awards is set forth at length at this website:


The USCIS requires foreigners to be in lawful visa status to attend University. 'Don't' represent yourself as a U. S. Citizen to get student loans!

If you and your friends have DACA, then you can 'lawfully attend' University. If not, then the University may insist that you have aU. S. Citizenship, n F1 Student visa, greencard, asylee status, or work authorization.

The University may overlook this requirement, which is a violation of Federal law to your advantage. If the University or the State where you live offers a program for undocumented residents of your State, then look into that program as soon as possible. Good luck.

This is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.


You may attend school, but you may not work, which probably means that you cannot take any work-study positions. To be sure, speak to the financial aid office at the college you apply to.

This does not constitute legal advice or the engagement of my services as an attorney.

Immigration topics

Recommended articles about Immigration

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer