Social Security Administration

Do I need to have my SSN number before I start working?

Question details

I have a query about the employment status of the H1B resource coming from India. Once the resource reaches the US, from what day they can start working? I understand that once they reach the U.S. they need to apply for SSN first. So the question is can they start working in full employment capacity even before they get SSN?


Excerpt from the SSA (Social Security Administration) website: 

"We don’t require you to have an SSN before you start work. However, the Internal Revenue Service requires employers to use your SSN to report your wages.

While you wait for your SSN, your employer can use a letter from us stating you applied for a number. Your immigration documents can prove your authorization to work in the United States".

Find more information online at

Social Security Number And Card

Question details

How do I get a number and card?

A Social Security number is important because you need it to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services. Many other businesses, such as banks and credit companies, also ask for your number.If you are a noncitizen living in the United States, you also may need a Social Security number. For more information, see Social Security Numbers For Noncitizens (Publication No. 05-10096).

Social Security

Social Security—An Overview

Social Security is a program that automatically deducts a portion of your earnings, denoted as FICA on your pay-stub, in order to provide certain benefits when you retire. The Social Security Number (“SSN”) enables the federal government to track these transactions.