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Dear Editor:
As a new Immigration Daily subscriber, forgive me if you have covered this issue in the past. The topic is: How the BCIS and Social Security Administration Interact. We have clients who get their Work Authorization cards, only to find that Social Security Administration requires some kind of computer input from the BCIS – in other words, the alien has to be put “into the system” before SSA will honor the Work Authorization Card and grant a social number. We have been told that it takes 8-12 weeks to issue a social security number once the client applies with SSA, but we are finding this time estimate to be totally optimistic and erroneous. What exactly are the legal requirements for BCIS regarding informing SSA on aliens granted Work Authorization? Why does it take so long to process information between the BCIS and SSA? Is there anything attorneys can do for their clients to expedite the process, and what are the clients’ legal rights vis a vis being supposedly granted the right to work according to the BCIS and yet not being able to get a Social Security number which employers are legally bound to obtain before hiring? Thank you! I'm happy to be a new Immigration Daily reader and look forward to seeing this topic covered in future issues.

Jennifer Trump
Legal Assistant

Editor's Note: We appreciate and will review all responses to our November 14, 2003 Editor's Comments.