Social Security Number Card Not Required to Start TN Visa Employment

Neither the U.S. immigration laws nor the U.S. tax laws require that foreign citizens (including TN visa workers) possess a Social Security Number (“SSN”) card before they commence working in the U.S. All the law requires is that individuals apply for an SSN within seven days of commencing employment. See 26 C.F.R. § 31.6011 (b)–2 (a) (2).

Where a worker has filed for a SSN, but not yet received his/her card, the Social Security Agency has advised AILA that employers may use a “dummy” SSN (e.g. 000-00-000) to complete their W-2 forms. Third-party payroll preparers who may not be able to generate a paycheck without an SSN may also utilize a dummy SSN to generate a paycheck. See AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 06082360 (posted August 23, 2006); and AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 06022160 (posted Feb. 21, 2006).

The IRS advises that when the employee receives his/her SSN card, he/she should file Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, with the Social Security Agency to show the employee’s correct SSN. IRS Employer’s Tax Guide, Publication 15 (2010) (Circular E).