US SSN number as an alien non-resident

Hello fellow nomads! May anyone of you suggest any -possibly quick- workaround to apply for a SSN as an alien non-resident? A SSN is the gateway to full access to the US financial system. I have already been issued an ITIN, but it cannot be used by most of the US financial institutions as a proof of id.

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If you do not have permission to work, you may apply for an SSN only if:

  • A federal law requires you to provide your SSN to get a particular benefit or service; or
  • A state or local law requires you to provide your SSN to get general assistance benefits for which you already have qualified.

- Learn what documents you will need to get a Social Security Card | SSA

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An SSN doesn’t give much more access to the financial system than an ITIN does. It’s not sufficient as an ID, only state ID cards or passports would help you there.

It is helpful as an identifier for your credit score, but not much different than an ITIN in this respect.

As for getting one, essentially you’ll need to work legally in the US. You most likely need to be on a work or certain type of student visa.

You can try to apply for SNAP / food benefits. If you qualify under certain refugee programs they require a SSN. They can give you a letter to take to social security. It allows you to apply for a non-working SSN. It varies by state to state or even the person you talk to in the agency.

Also some smaller credit unions will allow you to apply for loans/ services with the ITN. They have more flexibility than banks or the big players.