Social Security Number Delays and Employment Authorization

An individual who has applied for a Social Security Number but is subject to administrative delays by USCIS/SSA may lawfully begin working until he or she receives the SSN, as long as they can produce other documents evincing work eligibility (See Form I-9 for a listing).  The following excerpts and supporting documents are provided for further information. 

Do I need to have a number before I start working?
do not require you to have a Social Security number before you start to
work, but the Internal Revenue Service requires employers to report
wages using the Social Security number. While you wait for your Social
Security number, your employer can use a letter from us stating that
you applied for a number.”

– From Social Security Administration SSA Publication No. 05-10107 – April 2003

fact, it is an I-9 violation for a US employer to specifically require an SSN prior
to the employee starting work. 

See also:

“There is no federal law administered by any federal
agency which prohibits the hiring of a person based solely on the fact
that the person does not have a Social Security Number (SSN).

Similarly, there is no federal law which prohibits the making of a
payment to a person based solely on the fact that the person does not
have an SSN.

– From “Delays in Issuing SSNs to Aliens by the Social Security Administration”

Further Reading:

Fact_Sheet – Employment_Discrimination

US Dept. Of_Justice – Guide_To_Fair_Employment

Social_Security_Online – Employer_Responsibilities_When_Hiring_Foreign_Workers

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