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Getting a US SSN for your temporary Resident's license?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by LeafsFan, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. LeafsFan

    LeafsFan New Member

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    Hi there,

    I'm a Canadian medical graduate who is starting a US Transitional Year internship this July. I'll be going on a J-1 visa, and expect this visa to come through hopefully by mid-May.

    I just discovered that I'll need to get a US Social Security number in order to apply for a temporary resident's medical license in my state; they won't process my state license without an SSN beside my name. Unfortunately, the US Social Security website states that I have to have the J-1 visa in hand before they can start the process of getting me a US SSN.

    I'm just wondering if there are any US residents out there who are not US citizens (and therefore needed to get an SSN prior to starting residency training), and if so, how quickly you managed to obtain it? Was there any delay in starting your residency because of waiting for your SSN, and is there any way to speed up the process? My internship program hasn't had much experience with non-US citizens in the past.

    Thanks a lot for any information you can provide!
     
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  3. ZephyrX

    ZephyrX Member
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    I am not a resident yet nor am i an international student anymore (got PR status). However the waiting time while waiting to get my SSN (with an F1 visa at the time) was around 10-15 days.

    Since you are in Canada, can't you enter the US in mid-May when you get your visa and apply then? That ought to give you enough time to get your temp license.

    As i said, i am unaware of your specific situation but for most people that i know of, it took them anywhere from 10-20 days to get their SSN.
     
  4. Histrionic

    Histrionic Endowed member
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    Go to East Los Angeles, and you can buy a social security number and a drivers license.
     
  5. mdblue

    mdblue Senior Member
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    From what I know, you can fill up a form explaining why you don't have a SSN and submit it to the state board. Essentially it says that you have not worked in the US before. Sorry, I can't recall the exact # and it may differ from state to state.
    Ask your prog coordinator/GME office about it. I guess they have to send it to the board w/ the rest of the paperwork.
    Hope this helps. :)
     
  6. LeafsFan

    LeafsFan New Member

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    Thanks guys. My current plan is to wait until I get my J-1 visa in mid-May, immediately move from Canada down to my new city, and then start the SSN application process at that point. The thing is, since my state requires our temporary medical license application to be filed 2 weeks before we start on July 1, that means that I have to have my SSN by mid-June at the latest.

    If the SSN takes any longer than that 4 week interval (delays in the mail, delays in processing due to increased security, etc), then I might not have completed all the paperwork in time to start internship on July 1. That's why I was hoping that perhaps some of you knew if there was a way to start the SSN application immediately, to guarantee that it would be ready around when my J-1 comes through. If my SSN can be processed in only 10-15 days, that would work into my timeline just fine. I'm just worried about the "What if it takes longer?" scenario.

    mdblue, I hadn't heard of that option, and I'll definitely get in contact with my program coordinator. Hopefully, that'll be the ticket! :) Does anyone else have any feedback on getting your SSN? I assume that any non-US citizens doing residency must have all gone through this stage. What approaches did you use, and are there any hiccups/hurdles I need to pay attention to?

    Many thanks!
     
  7. nitewing

    nitewing New Member

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    You can apply for SSN (in person) as soon as you move to the state where your program is at. A week after you've applied, you may call their 1-800 number, and they will give you your SSN by phone, and you will receive the card by mail in 2 weeks (after you've applied in person). That's what I did -- I'm sure it would be the same in all states (I applied for my SSN in TX, went to Md for a vacation, called the 1-800 number while in Md, and got my SSN). Hope this allays your fear(s).
     
  8. samdaman

    samdaman Que Sera Sera
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    I know for a fact, that they do have a SSN waiver form. Your program should definitely have it. All you need to do is fill it out, and send it to the state board for the license processing. The only requirement is that you have to submit your SSN to the state board when u get one later. thats it. I know that most (if not all) IMGs face this problem, and this is the legal and practical way out of it. If you are going to wait for the SSN number first, and then get your license, then u'll definitely be delayed... so I would'nt really recommend that..
    Contact your program, and if they dont know about it, ask them to find out... Maybe they have immigration lawyers, who might be able to help?
    -S
     

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