I worked in America as a snowboard instructor for a few months in 2008, on an H2B visa. For that I obtained a social security number. The card has printed on it "Valid for work only with DHS authorization".

I haven't worked in America since then, but have recently been approved for an H1B visa so will be moving there shortly. Is my social security number from 2008 still valid, or will I need to get a new one?

  • 3
    Not sure that this question is appropriate for this site. This is more on immigration, for which I can't find a proposal now. This is the question best asked when you reapply for the Social Security number. They might reinstate your old one if you know what that was.
    – Karlson
    Feb 12, 2013 at 15:16
  • As a general rule, SSN's follow the person, not the job. Feb 12, 2013 at 18:40
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    @Karlson H1B is not an immigrant visa. This question applies to both immigrants and non-immigrants. It's on-topic here. Feb 12, 2013 at 19:01
  • @Gilles It's a work visa. And SSN is not related to Travel.
    – Karlson
    Feb 12, 2013 at 19:30
  • 3
    Actually sounds more on-topic for Expatriates:SE - long term residence in a foreign country for work purposes.
    – CGCampbell
    Sep 15, 2014 at 17:24

2 Answers 2


If you have ever had an SSN, that is your number for life. Even if you become ineligible to apply for one, if you had it, you don't lose it.

“Valid for work only with DHS authorization” indicates that having a social security card isn't in itself proof that you are entitled to work in the US. For example, you might still have a valid social security card after your work visa has expired, or you might have been issued a social security card without being allowed to work in the US.

  • Just as added reference, students are also issued a SSN and a Social Security card when they want to get a driver's license; and the F1 visa is non-immigrant and does not allow you to work (except as part of a vocational program). Dec 10, 2014 at 4:18

SSN is issued once in a life time , you can use same SSN number again. Its not legal to get two different SSN unless you have a valid reason.


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