Can An Illegal Immigrant Have A Social Security Number?

If you are an American citizen, and you are born in the United States, you are automatically designated with a Social Security number. It is a unique number, one that is used to track the benefits that you will receive as a part of the Social Security program. At a certain age, you are able to obtain these benefits which will include a monthly payments and also what amounts to free medical insurance. This is something that many people look forward to after retirement, and some people wonder if it is possible for an illegal immigrant to obtain a Social Security number at all.

What Exactly Is A Social Security Number?

These are numbers that are a total of nine digits. Permanent residents, US citizens, and non-immigrant working residents are able to get one. They are very useful, allowing people to collect benefits and pensions related to Social Security, making all people that have one eligible. An illegal immigrant will often try to get one. These are individuals that have not gone through the legal immigration process. Essentially, these are individuals that have crossed over the border into the United States without the proper documentation. There are some fallacies associated with whether or not these individuals can ever get a Social Security number that must be addressed first.

What Benefits Do You Get Because You Have A Social Security Number?

There are quite a few benefits associated with having a Social Security number. The one that most people look forward to is obtaining free health insurance. Although most other developed countries in the world provide their citizens at a much earlier age with free medical coverage, it is only through the Social Security program in the United States that their citizens will be eligible as early as at the age of 62. There is also a small monthly payment that you will receive as a result of paying into Social Security. This money is extracted from the gross amount of your income from your job. There is a misperception that each and every immigrant does not pay taxes. If they have been granted a visa to work, and they are receiving a check from their employer, they are certainly paying into this and are entitled to it once they have a Social Security number. Finally, a Social Security number is something that you need if you are applying for a job, buying a car, or trying to obtain some line of credit. It has many other uses, but for illegal immigrants, they are primarily focusing on the two primary benefits of monthly income and health insurance.

Why Are These Immigrants Coming In Illegally?

First of all, immigrants that have not gone through the traditional process of becoming a United States citizen may be given what is called asylum. They are likely escaping from a country where they feared for their life, or the lives of their children, and have therefore made their way to cross the border into America. If they are granted asylum, they then have the ability to apply for legal citizenship at some point in time. There are many paths for obtaining legal status in the US including obtaining a green card through marriage, being part of the DREAMers program, or if they have received asylum status. From that point, they can then go through the process of becoming a citizen. For example, once they have a green card, they can then apply for a Social Security number and enjoy the benefits that that can provide. The only ones that are not able to obtain a Social Security number, who have come in illegally, are those that are deported and even those that have not been granted asylum.

Is There A Way For An Illegal Immigrant To Apply For A Social Security Number?

One of the easiest ways for a non-citizen of the United States to get a Social Security number is by becoming a temporary worker. If they are able to find a job, and also obtain what is called a non-immigrant visa, they will then be able to get a Social Security number. Of course, they must be officially authorized to work in the United States. They cannot simply crossover and get a job to get a Social Security number as an undocumented immigrant. There is always a pathway for them, but they must follow the laws which will guide them toward eventually obtaining one.

What Is The Easiest Way For Undocumented Immigrants To Get A Social Security Number?

The easiest way for an undocumented immigrant to get one is to actually marry someone in the United States. Once this occurs, they will then have a green card, and this will allow them to obtain a Social Security number without any issues. The second is to become a temporary worker. However, to do this legally, they must apply for a non-immigrant visa. By doing either of these things, they will be closer to obtaining a Social Security number in the United States that will give them access to these benefits once they reach the age of 67.

Will They Be Able To Obtain Social Security Benefits Earlier?

Once they do have a Social Security number, they must follow the rules related to obtaining the benefits just like everyone else. For example, once you reach the age of 62, you are eligible for a portion of them. To get full benefits, you must wait five additional years. At the age of 67, you will have access to 100% of the benefits that you are entitled to. Essentially, regardless of the path that they took to get this number, they will be regarded as a person who is eligible for these benefits at the ages that have been designated.

In conclusion, someone simply crossing over the border of the United States is not able to instantly apply for a Social Security number. They must apply for a nonimmigrant visa as a worker, or obtain a green card through marriage, in order to have this ability. If they are able to achieve either of goals, they will be able to get an application. However, people that simply migrate into the US will not have this option.