Obtaining or Replacing Goverment Forms
Obtaining a Social Security Number
It is recommended that au pairs apply for a Social Security Number at the beginning of their program. Social Security Numbers are needed for au pairs to obtain a driver’s license in most states, apply for classes, open a bank account, and file taxes. To obtain a Social Security Number, au pairs will have to fill out the Application for a Social Security card. Au Pairs will be issued a restricted Social Security Card called ‘Valid for work only with DHS Authorization’.
For more information please visit the Social Security Administration website: www.ssa.gov
In order to get a Social Security Number, the SSA must be able to verify the au pair’s visa status. Au pairs should wait at least 10 days after they entered the United States before applying for a Social Security Number. The SSA needs to verify the au pair’s status with the Department of Homeland Security, and cannot do that until the au pair is in the United States for at least 10 days. If the au pair cannot be verified, they should ask to have their status verified through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). To find a SSA office near your host family, visit the SSA website to enter your host family’s zip code to find the closest office location.
Information on obtaining a social security card
To apply for a Social Security Number, au pairs must have the original documentation below (no copies are accepted):
- Passport (with visa)
- DS-2019 form
- Agent Au Pair Program Participation Letter
- I-94 (can be obtained here: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/recent-search
The social security office will be verifying the au pairs Sevis status before a Social Security Card can be issued. If there is any difference in information, the social security office might deny the applicant a social security card or they may request additional information (will be manually verified) which will substantially delay the process of obtaining a social security number.
If your social security card is being denied please contact Agent Au Pair for further assistance.
Agent Au Pair recommends to keep your passport in a safe place and to only bring it with you when absolutely needed (e.g. while traveling). Should you drive in the US you will have obtained your US drivers license which can be used as identification (ID). If you do not have a US drivers license you should consider applying for a US ID card which can be used as identification.
Should your passport get stolen you should report it to the police (file a report). If you lost your passport filing a police report will not be needed. Regardless of whether you have lost your passport or whether it got stolen, you should inform your local representative as well as the Agent Au Pair office about it. Further, you will need to contact the embassy/consulate of your home county in order start the process of replacing your passport. You can find a list of foreign embassies in the US and their contact information here: Embassies and Consulates in United States | GoAbroad.com.
If you lost your passport, you will also no longer have your US visa. While replacing your passport will be a somewhat easy process, replacing your visa won’t be. In order to obtain a new visa, you will have to return to your home country (once you have received your new passport) and have to apply for a new visa. Please note that there is no guarantee that a new visa will be granted, so this will be a risk. Without a valid visa you will not be able to return to the US. On the other hand, if you remain in the US with no visa, you will be able to stay in the US legally and finish your program, however, you will not be able to travel outside of the US anymore.
Due to this, it is best to keep your passport in a safe spot at home and to use another form of identification (US drivers license or US ID card). It is also recommended that you take a copy of your visa and your passport.