On October 2, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a news release for those applying for employment authorization [PDF version].
Thanks to a new information-sharing agreement between the USCIS and the Social Security Administration (SSA), certain foreign nationals in specific categories or classifications may apply for employment authorization and a Social Security Number all on the updated Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
The USCIS explains that foreign workers in certain categories in classifications need both an employment authorization document and a Social Security Number to work lawfully in the United States. Prior to the information-sharing agreement between the USCIS and the SSA, these foreign workers would have to apply for an employment authorization document on the Form I-765 and then file additional paperwork with the SSA to obtain a Social Security Number.
The updated Form I-765 contains questions that will allow employment authorization document applicants to apply for a Social Security Number or a replacement card. The USCIS will transmit the information provided by the applicant in response to these questions to the SSA for processing. Accordingly, such applicants will not need to make a separate trip to a Social Security Office. The USCIS advised that applicants who receive their employment authorization document and also applied for a Social Security Number or a replacement card on the Form I-765 should expect to receive their Social Security Card within two weeks after receiving the employment authorization document.
When filing forms with the USCIS, it is always important to carefully follow the form and filing instructions. An individual with case-specific questions or a more complicated case may consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance.