Types of Social Security Cards

We issue three types of Social Security cards. All cards show your name and Social Security number. If you are not a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may have a work restriction listed on your card. The chart below explains the three types of cards that we issue:

1

Shows your name and Social Security number and lets you work without restriction.

We issue it to:

  • U.S. citizens; and
  • People lawfully admitted to the United States on a permanent basis.
2

Shows your name and Social Security number with the restriction, "VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION".

We issue it to people lawfully admitted to the United States on a temporary basis who have DHS authorization to work.

3

Shows your name and Social Security number with the restriction, "NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT".

We issue it to people from other countries who:

  • are lawfully admitted to the United States without work authorization from DHS, but have a valid non-work reason for needing a Social Security number; or
  • need a number because of a federal law requiring a Social Security number to get a benefit or service.