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Listserv Q&A for
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Question:

Is it possible to expedite the issuance of social security numbers for non-immigrant nurses who need a social security number for licensing purposes?

Nurses have immediate immigration authorization to work based on an approved TN or H-1B visa. However, if the social security administration cannot issue a number to them in a timely manner, they are not able to obtain the necessary license, resulting in a delay in employment. This delay causes hardship to the nurses, the hospitals and ultimately the patients and our health care system as a whole in light of the serious shortage of available nurses in this country.

Answer by William Stock:

The Social Security Administration will not expedite issuance of numbers for anyone, U.S. citizen or otherwise. They must receive confirmation of the person's claimed status (from INS for aliens, and from the state that issued the birth certificate for U.S. citizens) before issuing a social security number.

Social Security notes that many states were confused by a 1995 requirement that they collect social security numbers from persons being issued professional and driving licenses (for child support enforcement purposes). The 1995 requirement was never meant for states to require social security numbers, only to collect the number if the applicant has one.


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