A Social Security Number (SSN) is a federal identification nine-digit number issued to US citizens, permanent residents, and foreign nationals living in the United States under certain nonimmigrant classifications.
Is it possible to apply for a Social Security Number with an E-2 visa? Read on to find out.
E2 Treaty Investor Visa – Eligibility Criteria
The E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant classification that allows nationals from eligible countries to be admitted to the United States upon investing a “substantial amount of capital” in a US-based enterprise.
The United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services has a list of requirements that applicants must be in order to qualify for E-2 status. The first is the applicant’s nationality. If a foreign investor is not a national of a “treaty country,” it is not possible to obtain an E-2 visa.
USCIS defines a “treaty country” as a country:
- “With which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
- With which the United States maintains a qualifying international agreement, or
- Which has been deemed a qualifying country by legislation”
After meeting this primary requirement, the applicant must have invested or be actively in the process of investing a “substantial amount of capital” in a US enterprise. USCIS does not have a fixed threshold to determine what “substantial” is, which gives applicants flexibility.
This is also one of the reasons behind the popularity of the E-2 classification, as other investment-based visas tend to place the bar too high on the minimum amount of investment required.
USCIS expressly provides that E-2 applicants must be “seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise,” which is proven by “showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.”
Can I Get a Social Security Number with an E2 visa? – The Verdict
Once a foreign investor has received approval from USCIS and entered the United States under E-2 status, it is possible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) with the nearest Social Security Office.
Considering the possibility to take advantage of unlimited extensions of status and continue to live in the United States in the long term, an SSN is also important for E-2 investors. This number is often required for tax purposes, opening bank accounts, etc.
The application process can be entirely handled online, which is a convenient option for hard-working E-2 entrepreneurs with hectic schedules. After downloading and filling out the applicable forms, E-2 visa holders must submit them to the Social Security Office.
The application package may also require additional documents, including the applicant’s passport containing the E-2 status and latest entry stamp and Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) to prove the applicant was admitted to the US under E-2 status.
If the applicant has a dependent spouse, additional documents may include a Certificate of Marriage (with Certified English translations), the spouse’s valid passport with the relevant stamps, and a printout of the spouse’s latest I-94 record.