How to Update Your Social Security Number After Naturalization

Becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization is a significant achievement that opens the doors to various rights and responsibilities.

One important step after naturalization is updating your Social Security Number (SSN) record.

This guide will walk you through the reasons for updating your SSN, the steps involved, what you need, and frequently asked questions.

How to Update Your Social Security Number After Naturalization
How to Update Your Social Security Number After Naturalization


Why Update Your SSN After Naturalization?

Updating your SSN record is crucial because it reflects your new status as a U.S. citizen.

This update ensures that your work records, taxes, and social security benefits are accurately processed and attributed to you.

It also avoids potential legal issues and makes applying for loans, passports, and other government services easier.


What You Need to Update Your SSN

Before heading to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office, make sure you have the following documents:

  1. Your Certificate of Naturalization: This document proves your U.S. citizenship.
  2. Your current Social Security card: To verify your existing SSN.
  3. Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card): This form requests any changes to your SSN record, including updating your citizenship status.

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the agency that issued them. Photocopies or notarized copies are not accepted.

Steps to Update Your SSN After Naturalization

Step 1: Gather Your Documents

Collect your Certificate of Naturalization, your current Social Security card, and a completed Form SS-5. Double-check that all the information on the form is correct to avoid delays.

Step 2: Visit Your Local SSA Office

Find the nearest SSA office using the SSA’s office locator tool online. It’s a good idea to call ahead and check if you need an appointment, as some offices might require it.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

Once at the SSA office, submit your documents to the staff. They will review your application and documents to ensure everything is in order.

Step 4: Receive Your New Social Security Card

After processing, which typically takes about 10 to 14 days, your updated Social Security card will be mailed to you. The card will have the same number but will now reflect your status as a citizen.

Tips for a Smooth Update Process

  • Check Office Hours: Make sure you know the operating hours of the SSA office to avoid wasted trips.
  • Prepare for a Wait: SSA offices can be busy, so prepare for some waiting time during your visit.
  • Keep Documents Safe: Handle your documents carefully and keep them in a safe place before and after your visit to the SSA office.



Updating your Social Security record after naturalization is an important step in integrating your new status into all facets of your life in the United States.

By following these steps and preparing adequately, you can ensure the process is as smooth and swift as possible, letting you enjoy the benefits of U.S. citizenship without hassle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Does updating my SSN after naturalization change my SSN?

A1: No, your SSN remains the same, but your status as a citizen will be updated in the system.

Q2: How long does it take to receive my updated Social Security card?

A2: It usually takes about 10 to 14 days after your application is accepted.

Q3: Is there a fee to update my SSN after naturalization?

A3: No, there is no fee for updating your SSN with your new citizenship status.

Q4: Can I update my SSN online?

A4: No, updating your citizenship status requires you to visit an SSA office in person.

Q5: What should I do if I lose my Certificate of Naturalization?

A5: If you lose your Certificate of Naturalization, you must request a replacement from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before you can update your SSN.

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