Can I work on my old SSN?
If you are on a nonimmigrant visa working in the United States, your employer will ask for your social security number (SSN) along with proof of your legal authorization to work in the United States. In general, only those authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to work in the United States can obtain a Social Security number (SSN). Once you receive a social security number (SSN) you never receive a new one. The same SSN will be used for any future employment. When you receive a SSN attached to work authorization as a foreign national, the social security card will have a stamp that indicates one of the following:
- “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION”
- “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION”
- “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT”
As as a foreign national a SSN is only Valid with a Work Visa
As a foreign national, you are not legally authorized to work with the SSN alone. You must have and maintain a valid work visa in order to be legally authorized to work. If you have changed employers or obtained a new work visa, you must present your new immigration documents in support of your work authorization to begin working. Working on a SSN without a valid work visa is not authorized and is considered an immigration violation. In general the following is a list of documents that can be used to prove work authorization:
- A copy of your permanent resident card; OR
- A copy of your Employment Authorization Document; OR
- A copy of your Form I-797 Approval Notices, OR
- A copy of your foreign passport and Form I-94.
As a foreign national you are only authorized to work in the United States with a valid nonimmigrant visa. You cannot work with a SSN alone. If your visa has expired, or you have changed your employer, you will require a new visa before you can begin working using your old SSN. If you have questions about your authorization to work in the United States, we can help.