Who should I contact regarding immigration matters?
Please review the information contained on this website regarding immigration issues relating to pharmacy opportunities.
If you would like to submit your resume, or if you have additional immigration questions, please direct them to: email@example.com.
What are the various steps involved in the immigration process?
A majority of foreign licensed pharmacists are required to take the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Exam (FPGEE), the Test of Spoken English (TSE), and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An individual who receives a passing score on all three exams will be issued an FPGEC certificate. If you have not taken these exams, please contact the various organizations for testing requirements.
- Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Exam (FPGEE) — www.nabp.net
- TSE/TOEFL — www.toefl.org
If you have taken and successfully passed the required examinations, please forward the FPGEC certificate and resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What type of visa classification do I need?
Nonimmigrant visas are temporary visas that may or may not allow a foreign national to work in the United States. The most common nonimmigrant visas which allow a foreign national to work in the U.S. with a specific company sponsor are the H-1 and TN. Please see the corresponding section below on each particular visa type for more detailed information.
The immigrant visa, or green card, allows a foreign national to stay in the U.S. indefinitely and work for any employer. Please see the corresponding section below for more detailed information on immigrant visas.
What is the B-1/B-2 Visa Classification?
The B-1 visa category allows foreign business persons to enter the U.S. for temporary periods of time to conduct business or receive training. B-1 visa waivers are available to citizens of many western European countries as well as principal trading country partners.
B-2 visa classification is generally reserved for foreign nationals who wish to enter the U.S. temporarily for purposes of tourism.
How does one qualify for B-1/B-2 visa classification?
Each individual must comply with all of the following B-1/B-2 visa requirements:
- Enter the U.S. for a limited period of time.
- Intend to depart at the end of the stay.
- Maintain a foreign residence with no intent to abandon the same.
- Possess financial means adequate to stay in the U.S. without working in the U.S.
- Engage solely in legitimate business or tourist activities.
- Possession of a round-trip airplane ticket if entering under the Visa Waiver program.
With respect to activities that can legitimately be conducted in B-1 status, three basic rules exist. First, the employee cannot engage in "productive employment," which is defined to include both salaried work and work on an independent contractor basis. Secondly, the business activity must be associated with international trade or commerce. Finally, the principal benefit of the activity should accrue to the applicant's employer abroad. Typical B-1 activities would include: engaging in commercial transactions which do not involve employment in the U.S. (e.g., a merchant who takes orders for goods manufactured abroad); negotiating contracts; holding meetings with business associates; and receiving training.
What is a Visa Waiver and how long is it good for?
Nationals of certain countries do not need to obtain B visas for business or tourist visits to the U.S. for 90 days or less for purposes acceptable in the B-1/B-2 visa categories. They may enter pursuant to the Visa Waiver Pilot Program. An individual who enters the U.S. through this program is not eligible for a change of status or extension of stay.
What countries are included in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program?
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Uruguay.
What do dependents of B-1/B-2 qualify for?
The United States government may allow spouses and children under the age of 21 years to accompany the foreign national to the United States. Dependents of those with B-1/B-2 visa classification may receive B-1/B-2 visa classification.
Can dependents work in the United States in B-1/B-2 visa classification?
Foreign Nationals with B-1/B-2 visa classification may not be employed in the United States.
How long can one stay in the United States in B-1 visa classification?
The duration of a stay in the U.S. under a B-1 visa is generally short. In practice, a B-1/B-2 business visitor is usually granted for a period of entry which equals the duration of time necessary to conduct his or her business. Typically, visits of six months or less are approved when entering with a visa, and 90 days when entering pursuant to the Visa Waiver program.
How does one extend his B-1/B-2 visa classification?
An individual can file an application to extend his current B-1/B-2 status with the INS' Regional Service Center. This application must be submitted prior to the expiration of the individual's current status. Processing times on such extensions can be rather lengthy (9-12 months).
What is the F-1 Visa Classification?
F-1 visa classification is given to students enrolled in a full-course of study at a college or university in the United States
What is Optional Practical Training and how does one qualify?
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a privilege available to qualified students who hold F-1 visa classification so that the student may gain practical experience in her field of study (pharmacy). The student must provide a copy of the I-20 endorsed by the Designated Signatory Office (DSO) recommending OPT, and a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the INS authorizing employment. To obtain the EAD, the student must send a completed application form (Form I-765) along with a copy of the endorsed Form I-20, copy of form I-538, and filing fee to the INS. The student should obtain assistance from his/her Designated Signatory Office (DSO) when seeking Optional Practical Training. It is currently taking the INS approximately 90-120 days to process an EAD. It is important that the student apply for the EAD card 90-120 days in advance of his/her intention to work.
What is Curricular Practical Training and how does one qualify?
Curricular Practical Training is a privilege available to qualified students who hold F-1 visa classification so that the student may gain practical experience in his or her field of study (pharmacy). Curricular Practical Training is authorized by the Designated Signatory Officer at the school and may be authorized in one of three ways:
- The student will obtain academic credit for the work experience, for example an internship program
- The student must obtain work experience in order to fulfill a graduation requirement
- The work experience is part of a university-approved cooperative education program
A student should obtain assistance from his/her Designated Signatory Office (DSO).
Are students in F-1 visa classification exempt from FICA?
Employees in F-1 student visa status are exempt from FICA withholdings provided they are treated for U.S. income tax purposes as a "non-resident" or have proved that an applicable tax treaty exempts them from having to make FICA contributions. F-1 students who have resided in the U.S. for more than five years often are regarded as "residents" for U.S. income tax purposes and lose their exemption from FICA tax payment. Employees affected by this exemption should seek professional tax advice for more details. It is important to note that being declared a resident for tax purposes does NOT mean the employee is considered a Permanent Resident for immigration purposes.
What do the dependents qualify for?
The United States government may allow spouses and children under the age of 21 years to accompany the foreign national to the United States. Dependents of those with F-1 visa classification may receive F-2 visa classification.
Can the dependents work in the United States?
Foreign nationals with F-2 visa classification may not be employed in the United States.
How long can an individual stay in the United States in F-1 status?
F-1 visa classification is originally granted for the duration of stay needed to complete a course of study as determined by the school which issues the I-20. Currently, there is no overall limitation on period of stay.
How does an individual extend his F-1 visa classification?
Extension of F-1 status is entirely at the discretion of the school the student attends. Students should see the Designated Signatory Office (DSO) at their school for assistance in extending their F-1 visa classification.
What issues should an individual be aware of when a student travels outside the U.S. in F-1 Practical Training classification?
- Nonimmigrant Intent: Even though the particular student visa was previously issued, whenever a student departs and re-enters the United States, she is subject to the general requirements of the F-1 nonimmigrant visa classification. The F-1 visa classification requires nonimmigrant intent. Therefore, the INS officer may question the individual regarding his/her future plans, in order to determine that the stay in the U.S. is indeed temporary and that the individual's intentions are to depart the U.S. following completion of his/her studies and/or expiration of the EAD card.
- If the F-1 student visa stamp has expired and the individual is at the completion of her Optional Practical Training period: If optional practical training ends within 30 days of the individual's return to the U.S. and the individual's student visa has expired, it is recommended that the individual contact his/her DSO for guidance. Depending on the circumstances, it may not be advisable to travel.
- If an H-1B Petition for Change of Status has been filed: Following the filing of a Petition for Change of Status to any other nonimmigrant visa classification (such as H-1B), it is advisable to remain in the U.S. until the change of status request has been approved.
If one travels outside the U.S., what documents must the individual be in possession of in order to re-enter the U.S.?
- A properly endorsed Form I-20, signed by the DSO at the school certifying a continued pursuit of a full course of study or work authorization. Re-entry into the U.S. must occur within five months of the DSO endorsement
- A valid student visa
- A valid passport
- If in Optional Practical Training status: a valid EAD card and a letter from the employer confirming employment
How long can an individual stay in the U.S. in F-1 visa classification if employment (pursuant to Optional Practical Training) with Walgreens terminates?
Foreign nationals in F-1 Optional Practical Training are authorized to be in the United States until the expiration of their Employment Authorization Document (EAD card). In addition, the INS allows foreign nationals in F-1 status to stay in the U.S. 60 days beyond the date of termination. Before the 60 days have passed, the employee must have changed or extended their nonimmigrant visa classification, or immediately leave the United States.
What is the H-1B Visa Classification?
The H-1B visa is available to Walgreens to hire, on a temporary basis, qualified foreign workers. This visa currently has an overall limitation of six years, which includes any prior time the employee has spent working for other employers in the United States under H-1B and/or L-1 status. Walgreens will seek approval of this visa for those employees hired conditionally upon Walgreens effort to obtain approval of this visa classification.
How does one qualify for an H-1B visa?
A threshold requirement of the H-1B visa is that the job offered must require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a specialized field and the candidate must possess a closely related degree to this specialized field, or its equivalent, as recognized by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Diplomas, transcripts, and other education documents issued by foreign institutions must be evaluated by a third party education credentials evaluator prior to filing the petition, to ensure the equivalency will be recognized by the INS. In addition, those documents written in a language other than English will have to be translated by a certified translator.
If the degree is unrelated, the candidate must present complete transcripts, a detailed resume describing previous employment history, and letters from previous employers confirming the work experience in the specialized field. The education and work experience will then need to be evaluated to determine if the credentials are recognized as equivalent to an U.S. degree in the specialized field. Certified translations may also be needed.
What steps are involved in the processing of an H-1B Petition?
Preparation of the H-1B petition involves 2 steps:
- Preparing and filing a Labor Condition Application (LCA) is an attestation by the employer about various job conditions. One example of an attestation is that the employer is paying the prevailing wage for the H-1B position. This must be filed with the Department of Labor. The processing time for LCAs can range from 1-3 weeks. In certain situations, an LCA is not required since we may have already established blanket LCAs for various positions.
- The H-1B petition can be filed with INS once the approved LCA has been received. Processing times for the H-1B petition will vary
How long does it take to process an H-1B Petition?
It currently is taking 3-4 months for the INS to process an H-1B Petition once it is filed with the INS. Please note that unexpected delays may occur should the INS request additional information to process the petition. However, the overall process, from filing with the Department of Labor to the granting of an Approval Notice from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, can take up to 5 months.*
*Note: the above-mentioned processing times do not include: (1) application to take the TSE/TOEFL; (2) application to take the Foreign Pharmacist Graduate Equivalency Exam (FPGEE); (3) travel to the U.S.; and (4) application to state Board of Pharmacy and receipt of requisite intern license and/or certificate.
What do dependents qualify for?
The United States government may allow spouses and children, under the age of 21 years, to accompany the foreign national to the United States. Dependents of those with H-1B visa classification may receive H-4 visa classification.
Can dependents work in the United States?
Foreign nationals with H-4 visa classification may not be employed in the United States.
How long can one stay in the United States in H-1B status?
The H-1B visa is valid for a maximum period of six years. This six year period includes all time spent in H-1B and/or L-1 status with any employer in the United States. Keep in mind, the H-1B visa grants temporary employment.
When is an amended H-1B petition necessary?
If there is a change in job location, and/or there is a significant change in job duties and responsibilities, including promotions, an amended petition may need to be filed with the INS.
If an individual is currently in H-1B status with another employer, can he start work at Walgreens immediately?
A recently enacted law allows for the portability of H-1B visa classification. If the individual currently holds H-1B visa classification with another employer, he can begin work at Walgreens when two conditions are met. The U.S. Department of Labor must certify the Labor Condition Application for a current period of validity date and Walgreens H-1B petition on behalf of the individual must be filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Employment authorization shall continue until the new petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, such employment authorization will discontinue.
If the individual is currently in another nonimmigrant visa classification (other than H-1B) with another employer, can she start work at Walgreens immediately?
H-1B status is employer and job specific. Before commencing employment with Walgreens, INS must approve a petition filed on behalf of the individual by Walgreens. Please note that the individual must remain employed with her current employer until the new petition has been approved. The processing time in this case can take approximately 3-4 months.
Is there a numerical limit on available H-1B visas?
The United States Congress has placed a limit on the number of H-1B visas that can be issued during any given fiscal year at 65,000. Once that limit has been reached for the fiscal year, INS will not process any new H-1B petitions until the new fiscal year begins.
How does one extend the H-1B visa classification?
Foreign nationals are granted H-1B visa classification for an initial period of three years. This may be extended for an additional three years, for a maximum of six years, inclusive of all prior stays in H-1B and/or L-1 status.
How long can an individual stay in the U.S. in H-1B visa classification if her employment with a specific employer terminates?
Foreign nationals in H-1B visa classification are authorized to be in the U.S. for the purpose of productive employment. The day that productive employment ends, even if the employee receives a severance package, the employee must immediately leave the United States or have a new H-1B petition filed on their behalf by a new employer, or otherwise change their status to another nonimmigrant visa classification, before her last day of productive employment with the employer.
TN Visa Classification
The TN visa is available to Walgreens to hire, on a temporary basis, qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens pursuant to the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Walgreens will seek approval of this visa for those employees hired conditionally upon Walgreens effort to obtain approval of this visa classification. The TN-1 classification is given to Canadian nationals; TN-2 classification is given to Mexican nationals.
How does one qualify for TN visa classification?
To qualify for the TN visa classification, the individual must be offered a temporary position in one of the professions listed in the NAFTA. Typically, the proposed position at the company must require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a specialized field and the candidate must possess this degree in the specialized field.
What are the steps involved in processing a TN visa petition?
Typically, the INS, through a Free Trade Officer, can issue the classification at either the US/Canada border or at Pre-Flight Inspection at most Canadian international airports.
For Mexicans, an employer must file a petition with the INS to qualify the employee for TN status. Upon INS approval, the Mexican employee can apply for a visa stamp at a US Consulate in Mexico. Upon the receipt of the visa classification, a start date will be determined.
How long does it take to process a TN petition?
For Canadians who process the TN petition at the port-of-entry or pre-flight inspection, the TN classification may be granted on the same day.
What do dependents qualify for?
The United States government may allow spouses and children under the age of 21 years to accompany the foreign national to the United States. Dependents of those with TN visa classification may receive TD visa classification.
Can dependents work in the United States?
Foreign Nationals with TD visa classification may not be employed in the United States.
How long can an individual stay in the United States in TN classification?
The TN status is granted in three-year increments and currently does not have an overall limitation on period of stay.
How soon can an individual start at Walgreens?
The TN visa classification will be sought as soon as the candidate has accepted a conditional offer of employment. Upon the approval of the visa petition, a start date will be determined.
The candidate must provide a copy of his/her FPGEC certificate and state intern license where applicable.
How does one extend her TN visa classification?
In order to preserve her right to continue to work for a specific employer, any employee in TN visa status must have an extension filed on her behalf by the employer before the current visa status expires.
The applicant, in person, should file TN petitions with a Free Trade Officer of the INS at a port-of-entry or pre-flight inspection station. Prior to departure, the employee will need to obtain an offer letter detailing the position, job duties, rate of pay, and location.
Lawful Permanent Residence Classification
Lawful Permanent Residence classification allows a foreign national to stay in the United States and be employed indefinitely, as long as he or she does not abandon the Lawful Permanent Resident classification.
What is an employment-based preference category and under which preference category does an individual qualify?
Congress has designated those groups to which it gives preference in immigrating to the United States. Employment-based applications are broken down into 5 preference categories. Each preference category is subject to an overall numerical limitation.
The first employment-based preference category, which does not require a labor certification application, is set aside for priority workers eligible for one of the following categories:
- Multinational managers and executives transferred to the US from a foreign affiliate, subsidiary, branch or parent of the US office
- Outstanding researchers and professors
- Individuals possessing extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, and athletics
The second employment-based preference category, which usually requires a labor certification application, is set aside for the following:
- Individuals possessing exceptional ability in the sciences, arts and business who can demonstrate that their expertise and work is in an area benefiting the national interest (this does not require a labor certification application)
- Professionals possessing an advanced degree and where the position requires at least an advanced degree (advanced degree is defined as any U.S. academic or professional degree above a bachelor's degree level or a bachelor's degree and at least five years of progressive experience)
The third employment-based preference category, which requires a labor certification application, is set aside for the following:
- Professionals with a bachelor's degree (actual US degree or foreign degree equivalent)
- Skilled workers (filling positions requiring at least 2 years of training and experience)
- Unskilled workers (filling positions that require less than 2 years of experience)
The drafting of the labor certification will impact which preference category can be requested on the immigrant petition (I-140).
What is the Labor Certification process and how long does it take?
The labor certification process will vary in length, depending on which method is appropriate for the case and where the individual works (which state). In addition, government processing times are extremely inconsistent and subject to change. Most employees will go through the LABOR CERTIFICATION PROCESS, consisting of 3 major stages:
- Stage 1: Labor Certification
- Stage 2: I-140 (Immigrant Visa Petition)
- Stage 3: I-485 (Adjustment of Status)
What are Priority Dates and backlogs?
Because of the large number of people who wish to become Permanent Residents, a system has been devised to regulate the distribution of available immigrant visa numbers pursuant to a quota system. An individual's priority date is established in one of two ways. If the individual is required to go through the labor certification process, the priority date is the date the labor certification was filed with the state Department of Labor. If the individual was exempt from the labor certification process, the priority date is the date the I-140 Immigrant Visa petition was filed with the INS.
If the individual's priority date is "current," and the immigrant visa petition has been approved, an immigrant visa is available. As such, the individual may be able to file his permanent residence application (I-485) with the INS. Foreign nationals from Mexico, India, China, and the Philippines may experience delays before their priority date is current due to the high number of immigrant visa applications by nationals of those countries.
An employee's six years of H-1B eligibility is "maxing out" and the I-140 has been approved, but she is not able to file the I-485, Adjustment of Status application, due to priority date backlogs. Can she remain in the U.S. until she files the I-485?
A recently enacted law allows foreign nationals in H-1B classification to benefit from an extension of the H-1B classification under certain conditions. The INS must have approved an Immigrant Visa Petition on behalf of the individual based on the employment-based first, second or third preference classification. In addition, the individual must be a national of one of the oversubscribed countries and is waiting for his priority date to become current to file the I-485 application.
What options exist for obtaining Permanent Residence classification based on a family relationship?
The U.S. government has decreed that certain close ties to U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents may make a foreign national eligible for immigration. As such, the following family-based groups may be eligible for permanent residence:
- Immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens. Immediate relative is defined as a spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21 years, or parent of a U.S. Citizen
- Other close relatives of U.S. Citizens. Other close relative is defined as unmarried sons and daughters (over the age of 21 years) of U.S. Citizens
- Spouses and Children of Lawful Permanent Residents
- Married sons and daughters (over the age of 21 years) of U.S. Citizens
- Spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Permanent Residents
- Brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens
What is the Diversity Lottery?
Each year, the U.S. Government makes 55,000 immigrant visas available to foreign nationals of countries with few numbers of immigrants in the U.S. The U.S. Department of State administers this program.
Can an individual include her spouse and dependent children in her application for Permanent Residence?
Yes, spouse and children, under the age of 21, can be included with the application.
A Lawful Permanent Resident is not required to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. In order to apply for naturalization, you must have been a Permanent Resident for a period of five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen). You must also have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 2.5 years out of those 5 years (1.5 years if married to a U.S. Citizen).
Does an individual always need a valid visa to enter the United States?
The majority of foreign nationals will be required to possess a valid visa in their passports for entry into the United States. Canadian nationals are exempt from this requirement, as are visitors entering the United States pursuant to the Visa Waiver program. In addition, if you enter the United States from Canada or Mexico after a visit to those countries which has not exceeded thirty days, you will not be required to present a valid visa for re-entry into the U.S.
How does an individual obtain his first initial visa stamp in his passport?
Typically the initial stamp is applied for in person in the individual's home country. At the discretion of a third country, he may be able to apply in a country that is not his home country, provided he has always maintained valid status in the U.S.
Based on reciprocity agreements which the U.S. has with other countries, the individual may be able to obtain a multiple-entry visa stamp. To obtain information on filing a visa application at a U.S. Consulate in Canada, the employee can be directed to the following web site: www.nvars.com.
The individual should contact the American Consulate or Embassy in advance to inquire about the current application fee and the most recent list of items required. Requirements vary for each Consulate. The individual can be directed to the following website for information on U.S. Consulates and Embassies abroad: www.travel.state.gov/links.html.
Typically the following documentation is required at a minimum:
- Original Form I-797 (approval notice)
- Copy of the H-1B petition including Labor Condition Application (if applying for an H-1B visa)
- Original valid passport
- Original educational documents
- One passport or green card style photograph
- Application fee
- Form OF156
If the employee has a spouse and/or children, they will require:
- Original valid passport
- One passport or green card style photograph
- Proof of their relationship to you (i.e., marriage or birth certificate)
- Application fee
- Form OF156
It is recommended that the individual review the particular requirements, hours of operation, processing times, etc. of each consulate.
How does one revalidate an expired visa?
An individual in H-1B or L-1 (H-4 or L-2 for dependents) classification may apply for renewal of their visa stamp through the State Department in the U.S. if he or she meets the following criteria:
- The applicant must have had an H-1B or L-1 (H-4 or L-2 for dependents) visa stamp issued to him/her previously; and
- The applicant's current H-1B or L-1 (H-4 or L-2 for dependents) visa stamp in his passport cannot be expired more than one year; or
- The applicant's current H-1B or L-1 (H-4 or L-2 for dependents) visa stamp in his passport cannot be expiring in more than sixty days.
The following original documents are needed in order to process the visa application in the U.S.:
- Original passport for each applicant. The passport should be valid for six months beyond the individual's authorized period of stay in H-1B or L-1 (H-4 or L-2) classification
- Original Notice of Action, Form I-797, approving the H-1B or L-1 petition on behalf of the individual. Dependents in H-4 or L-2 may or may not have an original approval notice depending on whether this is their first period of stay in H-4 or L-2 visa classification
- Original Form I-94 for each applicant
- Two passport-sized photographs for each applicant
- If only dependents are filing for visa applications, children will need to file copies of their birth certificate and the spouse will need to file a copy of the marriage certificate evidencing their relationship to the principal
Please note that it is currently taking the U.S. State Department at least 10 weeks to process visa revalidation applications. While the U.S. State Department is in possession of the applicant's passport, the applicant may not travel abroad. If the applicant will need to travel abroad during this 10 week period, she may have the visa application withdrawn. The U.S. State Department would return the passport without the visa stamp. As such, the applicant would have to visit a U.S. Consulate abroad to obtain a visa stamp and reenter the U.S.
Documents needed to return to the U.S. upon completion of travel abroad
What documents are required of foreign nationals holding nonimmigrant visa classification?
Most people will require a valid passport with valid visa stamp reflecting your current status in the U.S. (e.g., H-1B, L-1). If the individual is not a Canadian citizen and does not yet have a visa stamp in his passport reflecting his current status in the U.S., he will need to apply for one at a U.S. Consulate prior to returning to the United States.
What travel documents are required of foreign nationals applying for permanent residence?
If an individual has an application for permanent residence pending with the INS and she needs to travel outside the U.S., she must have obtained an Advance Parole. To secure this document, she will need to provide the law firm the following: the reason for your travel; destination(s) and dates of travel; and 2 photographs.
Alternatively, if the H-1B or L-1 visa stamp and classification are still valid, the individual may be able to travel by using her visa and the original receipt for the filing of the application for permanent residence.
What travel documents are required of Permanent Residents?
If the individual is a Permanent Resident and she needs to travel outside the United States for more than six months, she should obtain a Re-entry Permit to facilitate her re-entry into the U.S. The Re-entry Permit MUST be filed while the individual is physically present in the United States and is valid for two years at a time. The individual should contact the law firm to find out if she requires a Re-entry Permit.
Miscellaneous Immigration Issues
How does one apply for a Social Security Number?
An individual can apply for a Social Security Number at the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) office (see your local phone book for the address of the SSA closest to your home). If the individual holds nonimmigrant visa status which allows him/her to work in the U.S., the SSA will typically issue you a social security card which indicates that the individual is authorized to work with INS authorization only. A Social Security Number application may be downloaded from www.ssa.gov or requested by calling 1-800-772-1213.
Can dependents receive Social Security Numbers?
Only foreign nationals possessing employment authorization may be issued Social Security Numbers.
How does one renew an expired passport?
To inquire about the procedure for renewing a passport, the employee should be directed to contact the embassy of the country which issued the passport.
Can an individual obtain dependent status for her common law spouse?
The U.S. government does not recognize common law marriage; thus no immigration benefits may be granted in the absence of a legal marriage.
How can a spouse qualify for employment authorization?
In order to receive employment authorization, a spouse must independently qualify for one of the nonimmigrant visa classifications which allow employment (for example, H-1B). Please see the previous sections for a detailed discussion of the requirements for each visa classification.