I got offered a position at a company in the USA not too long ago. I very recently got my TN Visa but unfortunately my start date is being delayed quite a bit, I just applied for my SSN recently and I live near the US border, and the worker for when I was applying to get the SSN ( in the USA) told me that I will likely need to wait 4-5 weeks since I live in Canada, to get my SSN.

She gave me a receipt which said that I don't need the SSN to start working. However HR at my company ( very big company) is telling me I need to wait to get my SSN before I can start working.

After reading online, it seems that its not necessary for me to have my SSN to start working, is this true? I was looking forward to starting working!

PS: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10107.pdf for references

  • -1 Voters, why? Seems like a perfectly reasonable question
    – Jon Barker
    Oct 26, 2018 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


Even if the law will allow you to work without having had an SSN issued, it's possible the company doesn't want to deal with any administrative overhead involved, especially if you are not a US citizen.

In the end, it is up to the employer how they want to handle this. While you can ask them for some leeway, you are not likely to be able to change corporate process/policy.

  • I see. I guess I just have to wait a month or so, and see what happens. Thank you for the response!
    – bobbin
    Oct 25, 2018 at 21:14

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