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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Legalizing Your Baby: Obtaining a Social Security Number

Who could deny this face??
At the advice of my friend Kelly and the Anonymous comment left on my Baby Passport Received post, I decided to try my luck at the Embassy and apply for Gretchen's Social Security number. The package containing her new passport gave nice, clear instructions on how to accomplish this very task, my only hesitation was not knowing if the Embassy would keep the documents needed to complete the request.  Good news!  You only need to show the documents.  Even Better News!  The whole thing took less than 30 minutes. 

The funny thing about applying for a Social Security number is that the window is only open from 8:00am - 11:30am Monday - Friday, except Wednesdays.  For some reason, they are closed every Wednesday.  So today I packed up my good little sleeper and we arrived at the Embassy around 11:15am.  As with the other times I have been to the Embassy (to renew a passport and to apply for a passport) it was no necessary as a US citizen to wait in line to get in, I approached the shaded window to the left of the entrance door, showed my passport and gained immediate entry.

I followed the instructions I was given and approached Window 16, which is actually a fingerprint window, so I waited for my number to be called and approached the correct Window, #17.  To apply for my daughter's Social Security number I needed:
  1. My US passport
  2. My daughter's US passport (and the instructions specify that the passport needs to be signed by a parent with the child's printed name in the signature line, who knew?)
  3. My daughter's original birth certificate, the Certificado de Nacimiento
It is also helpful to know both parents (aka - my and my husband's) Social Security numbers.  I don't have his memorized, but they were able to look it up in some sort of database.  I was asked for a mailing address for where I wanted the card to be sent, and that was it.  If you choose to have the SS card sent to a local (Argentine) address, the waiting period is ~2 months, if you choose to have it sent to a US address, the waiting period is 2 weeks.  We have not had good luck receiving mail in a timely fashion so I opted for the US address option. 
If there is Social Security money left when she retires, I'll be smiling too.
So far, this has been the easiest part of the Legalization process.  Thanks to Kelly and Anonymous commenter for your help! 

1 comment:

  1. I had left the previous comment about how easy it is (and that you only show the documents)....glad to hear it worked out. I was also told 2 months to receive the social security card and I still opted to have it mailed here since my newborn has no use for their number in the near-term. Anyway, I received the card in less than 2 weeks (12 calendar days to be exact). I know you opted for the US delivery but just to add some details on the reality of this step of the process.