SSN (Social Security Number)

A Social Security Number (SSN) is the 9-digit number issued to citizens, permanent residents and temporary working residents. To a large extent, the SSN has become a national identification number even though its initial primary purpose was that of tracking individuals for taxation purposes. It allows you to apply for a driver’s license or obtain a post-paid mobile phone. You might be requested to provide a SSN to rent, buy or lease a vehicle, rent an apartment, buy a house or apply for credit.

To apply for a SSN, you must appear in person at your local Social Security Office with the following:

  • Completed application form:
  • Valid Passport
  • Copy of both sides of the I—94 form, downloadable from gov/I94
  • For F Visa bearers, your I—20
  • For J Visa bearers, your IAP—66 (pink copy)
  • Verification of your employment authorization (work permit)

Work Permit for G-4 visa holders

Spouses holding G-4 visas are authorized to work for the United Nations and Missions to the United Nations without obtaining a work permit. You also have the right to work outside UN and obtain employment on the US job market. If you are not a citizen or a legal permanent resident, you need to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to prove that you may work in the USA. If you don’t have an EAD, your future employer will have to sponsor you. More information on EADs may be found here: You can apply for a work permit either as a self-employed person in your field of expertise, or after you have found a job and the employer is willing to provide you with a letter of intent to hire for that purpose. NYLESA’s group of Work Permit Experts can also offer advice for special cases.

Getting a work permit

Please contact the Visa Committee office directly for any EAD/work permit related queries at :

Work permit for Self-employed

If you plan to work as a consultant or in your own business, just provide a letter explaining what you plan to do, how much you will earn, who your potential clients will be etc.  If you do not have an employer yet and are not sure what sort of work you will do, you can apply as self-employed and notify the US Mission to UN later if you do start working for an employer.

Work permit renewal/Job change

A work permit is granted for a limited time. Make sure you start the renewal process two months before expiration. Renewal is similar to the initial application.

If you change jobs, you have to notify the office of UN HR Services/LDSD.

Note: If your annual income is above the G1 salary level, your spouse will lose some dependency allowance.