Social Security Card

Here is how a typical social security card looks like. It has the 9 digit social security number, your legal name, and a place for your signature.

social security card,social security number

The card image seen above is for citizens or immigrants who have moved to the US permanently.

For people on a non-immigrant work visa (e.g. on an H1 or L1), the card will look similar, but have a notation: “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION.” DHS stands for Department of Homeland Security. The notation implies the holder is allowed to work and collect wages only until the validity of the work visa.

For people on a dependent visa (e.g. on an H4 or L4) who are not authorized to work in the US, the card will instead note: "NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT".

Once you receive your SSN card, keep it in a safe place and do not carry it with you. You would need to quote the number in several situations, but will almost never need to show your card (so why risk losing it?). Do memorize the number, though.

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