Can L2 Dependent Child Apply for SSN?

Introduction: Can L2 Dependent Child Apply for SSN?

In the realm of immigration and visas, the process of obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN) is a common concern for non-U.S. citizens living in the United States. L2 dependent children, who accompany their parents under L1 visa status, often wonder whether they are eligible to apply for an SSN. This article delves into the details of whether an L2-dependent child can indeed apply for an SSN, and the key factors associated with the process.

Understanding L2 Visa and SSN

L2 Visa Overview

The L2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows dependent spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 to accompany and live in the United States while the primary visa holder, usually an L1 visa holder, works for a U.S. employer. The L1 visa is typically granted to intracompany transferees who are managers, executives, or employees with specialized knowledge.

Significance of Social Security Number (SSN)

An SSN is a unique nine-digit identification number issued by the U.S. government to track individuals’ income and work history. It is essential for various purposes, including obtaining employment, opening a bank account, filing taxes, and accessing government services.

Can L2 Dependent Children Apply for SSN?

Eligibility Criteria for L2 Dependent Children

As of the current regulations, L2-dependent children are not automatically eligible to apply for an SSN. Only individuals authorized to work in the United States, such as L2-dependent spouses, are typically eligible to obtain an SSN. However, L2 dependent children can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for tax purposes.

Obtaining an ITIN for L2 Dependent Children

An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for individuals who are not eligible for an SSN but need to fulfill tax obligations. L2 dependent children can obtain an ITIN by submitting Form W-7 along with the required documentation to the IRS.

Factors to Consider

Employment Authorization

One of the primary reasons for the disparity in SSN eligibility between L2-dependent spouses and children is employment authorization. L2 dependent spouses are eligible to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which allows them to work legally in the U.S. and consequently obtain an SSN.

Change in Status

It’s important to note that the eligibility criteria for SSN issuance may change based on U.S. immigration policies and regulations. As such, it’s recommended to stay updated with the latest information provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or consult with an immigration attorney.


In conclusion, while L2-dependent children are generally not eligible to apply for a Social Security Number, they can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for tax-related purposes. The eligibility hinges on factors such as employment authorization and immigration policies. Staying informed and seeking professional guidance is crucial for navigating the complexities of the U.S. immigration and taxation system.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Q: Can L2-dependent children work in the U.S.?
    L2-dependent children are not authorized to work in the U.S. unless they obtain proper employment authorization.
  2. Q: How long does it take to obtain an ITIN for an L2-dependent child?
    The processing time for an ITIN can vary, but it generally takes several weeks to a few months.
  3. Q: Can L2-dependent children apply for a driver’s license?
    Eligibility for a driver’s license varies by state. Some states may require an SSN or ITIN for issuance.
  4. Q: Can L2-dependent children attend school in the U.S.?
    Yes, L2-dependent children are generally allowed to attend school in the U.S.
  5. Q: What should I do if my L2 dependent child becomes eligible for an SSN in the future?
    If your L2 dependent child becomes eligible for an SSN due to changes in immigration policies or circumstances, you can apply for one through the appropriate channels.