How to start your new life as an immigrant in the USA

Start with getting a Social Security number and ID – identification card.

What is Social Security Number?

This is a federal number, and the institution that issues it is called the Social Security Administration. There are offices in every state and they should be able to help you get it.

Immigrants entering the US legally may request a Social Security number when applying for a visa. If you are already legally in the United States and your visa allows you to work in the USA, you will need to visit the Social Security Department in person to apply. You can pre-fill the form on the website and then come to the Social Security office in person with the documents within 45 days of completing the application.

ID cards

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues driver’s licenses or ID cards. It is very useful to get an ID card or driver’s license. When obtaining an ID or driver’s license, you will need to verify your address, for which you will need either a letter addressed to you at this address or a letter signed by your landlord/person with whom you live. You can find a detailed list of supporting documents on the DMV website of the state where you are located. You will be required to present a valid photo ID to access many services in the US and, in most cases, to rent an apartment, open a bank account, or apply for a job. There are several options for obtaining a photo ID, which vary depending on your immigration status and documents.

Driver’s license

In California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Utah, Vermont, and Washington, anyone, regardless of immigration status, can obtain a driver’s license using a foreign birth certificate, foreign passport or consular card and proof of current residence in the state.

State ID, non-driver identification card Each state has its own laws on how you can get an official photo ID and what documents you need to present. Start by searching your state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for non-driver identification information.