SSA’s Policy on SSN Issuance for USCs Born to Undocumented Parents

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently obtained clarification from the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding problems undocumented families have getting SSN cards issued to their U.S. citizen children.

AILA: Are SSNs issued automatically to USC children born in US hospitals?

SSA: Yes, if the parents choose Enumeration at Birth (EAB), which is a request made while mother and newborn are in the hospital.

AILA: Are there any restrictions on undocumented parents requesting or receiving SSNs or SSN cards for their USC children?

SSA: If the SSN is requested through Enumeration at Birth (EAB) then there are no restrictions.

AILA: What happens if a USC newborn is issued an SSN through Enumeration at Birth but the SSN Card is lost or misplaced?

SSA: A replacement SSN card can be issued but only a relative with acceptable evidence of identity can apply for a replacement card on behalf of the USC child.

AILA: Can a non-citizen parent without valid status apply for an SSN for his/her USC newborn outside an Enumeration at Birth request?

SSA: No. A person filing an application on behalf of a numberholder or someone entitled to be a numberholder must submit the same types of identification documents required for the numberholder. For non-citizens, U.S. immigration documents are the only acceptable type of identification document, unless the applicant meets the requirements to be issued a non-work-authorized SSN. Foreign passports are not acceptable unless they contain current immigration entries, such as an I-94 or a stamp or visa indicating it is temporary evidence of permanent resident status.

AILA: If Enumeration at Birth (EAB) was not utilized, what options are there for SSA to issue SSN and card to USC child if the parents are undocumented?

SSA: Another relative, who is able to submit documents SSA accepts, could apply, or the child can apply once he or she is old enough to sign his or her name (no age limits apply).

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