The Social Security office has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s been well over a year and it’s having a huge impact not only on individuals who are going through an immigration process but everybody else in the United States who has a Social Security Number.
They are only allowing individuals to come in person for appointments and extreme emergency circumstances which is not helpful because there’s a lot of things that are really extreme that can have an impact on your life if you can’t update your Social Security records. Examples would be the inability to work, renew your driver’s license, and change your name.
This is happening not just in the immigration context but individuals who recently had babies and they’re applying for their Social Security Number to receive that for the first time. There’s been a huge delay with those cards being issued. It’s impacting the ability of individuals to file taxes.
Social Security Numbers are important. With the Social Security offices being closed, it’s having a huge impact on individuals getting their Social Security cards. Individuals approved to receive their green card usually wait for a few weeks to receive their Social Security card in the mail. That’s not the case now. It’s taking many months for people to receive their Social Security card.
US senators and congressional representatives have been in contact with the Social Security office asking when they’re going to open, what their plan is because they have not made any type of announcement yet about when they will open.
They still haven’t made an announcement. But if you’re in a position where you haven’t received your Social Security card yet or you need to make an appointment to update your Social Security records after becoming a citizen, you can contact your congressional representatives and let them know how this is impacting your life.
They are aware of the issue. But if they can hear from all of you, from their constituents about how not having the Social Security card is impacting your life, it will be very helpful so they can continue to push the Social Security office to figure out what their plan is for reopening.
What you can do with delayed Social Security Cards
If an individual who is going through the naturalization process has a driver’s license expiring soon and they haven’t had their interview yet, it is recommended to renew your driver’s license before you become a citizen. Because if you become a citizen, the next step is having an oath ceremony and receiving a naturalization certificate.
Your next step is to update your records with the Social Security office which has been next to impossible now that the Social Security office is closed. Renewing your driver’s license beforehand is important because you won’t be able to change your status at the Social Security office soon. Some states may make it difficult for you to renew your license.
As soon as you have your oath ceremony and you receive your certificate of naturalization, apply for your US passport right away. Once you become a citizen, you’ll be turning in your green card. You’ll need proof of your status and the best way to do that is to apply for your US passport. That’ll help with some of the issues that are caused by the delay in the Social Security cards and the closure of the Social Security offices.