Why Do I Need To Update My Social Security Card After Citizenship

Have you stumbled upon questions like, why do I need to update my social security card after citizenship? Or are you in the same situation and seeking a response to the question?   

Firstly, congratulations on your new status as a citizen of the world’s most powerful and influential country. You’re now a citizen of the United States of America. 

As a U.S. citizen, you now have the same rights and privileges as other citizens of our dear country. But the process is still incomplete. You have to upgrade your records for several reasons. 

Is your social security card part of the records you must update? What documents should you update to reflect your new status? Here, we’ll discuss what you must do after obtaining your U.S. citizenship. Keep reading to get more details to make an informed decision.  

Why Do I Need To Update My Social Security Card After Citizenship

Yes, you need to update your social security card for diverse reasons. One is your prospective employers. Before hiring you, note that your employer will use your social security number to verify your eligibility to work in the United States of America. 

Your SSN will be entered into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s web-based system, E-Verify, to check whether you’re eligible to work in the country. If you fail to update your social security card, your employer won’t have the correct information regarding your work eligibility, and that could affect your chance of landing the job. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of why you need to update your social security card as soon as possible:

  • To obtain employment when an opportunity presents itself. 
  • To claim future social security benefits.
  • To receive government services designed for citizens.

Should You Change Your Social Security Card After Obtaining Your Green Card?

You don’t necessarily have to change your social security card once you acquire a green card. You can update your social security card (SSC) information after obtaining citizenship, not change the card. 

If you misplace your SSC, you can apply for a replacement. You can do so after obtaining your green card. 

A Handy Tip: Once you acquire your Certificate of Naturalization, change your status to the United States. You’re mandated to update your social security card. Provide your new details to reflect your status as a citizen of the United States of America.     

How To Update Your Social Security Card After Citizenship 

After obtaining your citizenship, what’s next? Becoming a citizen of the U.S. is an achievement worth celebrating. It means the United States government finds you worthy of living in the country. 

Most people will consider celebrating this achievement. Some may throw a party to mark their citizenship status. Whatever you do, don’t forget to update your SSC. 

It would be best if you did so. Your SSN (Social Security Number) is your identity. Most government agencies and even the private sectors use it to verify identities.

Potential employers won’t hire you if they cannot determine your work eligibility. Rather, they’ll use your SSN to verify your identity and confirm if you’re eligible to work in the United States of America. 

So the first step you need to take after obtaining your Certificate of Naturalization is to start planning to visit the SSA (Social Security Administration) office. You need to visit in person to update your SSC. 

The SSA will ask you to wait 10 days after receiving your Certificate of naturalization before showing up at their office to update your social security card.  

Furthermore, ensure you have the necessary means and documents when going to the SSA’s office to update your SSC. You’ll need supporting documents to confirm your identity, age, and citizenship status. 

A Handy Tip: The SSA requires you to visit their office in person when updating your SSC. So, find an SSA office near you. Fill out the 18 items in the form SS-5. 

You can locate the SSA office close to you via their official website. 

Can You Update Your Social Security Card Online After Citizenship? 

Unfortunately, you can only update your social security card or even change your social security number in person. You cannot change it online. 

But if you misplace your SSC or it got stolen, you can request a replacement online. However, note that not all states allow it.

You cannot request to replace your lost or stolen social security card online in the following states:

  • Ohio
  • Utah
  • Oregon
  • Minnesota
  • Alabama
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma 
  • Connecticut 
  • West Virginia
  • New Hampshire 

You cannot update your SSC, change your social security number, or replace your lost SSC online in the territories. You must visit the social security office in person. 

Here are the territories:   

  • Guam
  • Puerto Rico 
  • U.S. Virgin Islands 
  • American Samoa 
  • Northern Mariana Islands

You cannot change your SSC online if you obtained your card or live in the above territories. 

3 Things You Must Do Besides Updating Your Social Security After Citizenship

Once you have acquired your citizenship, there are things you must do. 

Here they are:

1: Get your U.S. Passport:

The next thing to do after acquiring your Certificate of Neutralization is to obtain a U.S. passport. You cannot travel out of the country with a Certificate of Neutralization. 

With a passport, you can travel out of the country. So, go ahead and apply for one. However, know that a new U.S. passport will take a few weeks to be ready. 

So while you wait for your U.S. passport to be ready, remember to reschedule your travel plans. In addition, remember that you have to submit your Certificate of Naturalization when applying for a U.S. passport. 

The State Department usually requests the original and photocopy of the Certificate of Naturalization and will return the original to you after confirmation. 

A Handy Tip: If you’re applying for a U.S. passport for the first time, endeavor to apply in person. 

2: Get registered and be eligible to vote:

Elections have consequences. Anyone the citizens elect as president, governor, or legislature will decide the economy and state of the nation.

The success of this country is traceable to its strong democracy. Citizens have a right to choose their leaders via the ballot. That’s why when people get elected into office, they try to do whatever they can to please the people. 

However, there won’t be a robust democracy without interest from eligible voters. So voting is a fundamental right and an obligation every citizen owes to the United States of America. 

Officials may approach you with a voter registration application form during your naturalization ceremony. You can decide to register there or do so elsewhere. You can register at the motor vehicle offices, Post offices, the Secretary of State’s office, or county boards of election.  

A Handy Tip: It is essential to register to vote once you obtain your citizenship. The good thing is you can register via mail or in person.  

3: Help your kids with their citizenship:

Usually, when a parent becomes a citizen, either by naturalization, the kids automatically become U.S. citizens. This is the fact, and nothing has changed. However, you must perform specific actions, especially if your kids are under 18. 

Here’s what you should know. If your kids are under 18, they’ll automatically become U.S. citizens when you acquire yours. But you should plan to apply for your kids’ U.S. passport when applying for yours. Note that it’s important to get proof of when your children acquire their citizenship. 

Why is it important? Even if you can help acquire their passport by applying for yours, they may need proof or document showing when they received their citizenship one day. 

Proof of citizenship is a document they must present when trying to replace a missing passport or updating their social security card when needed.  

So help your kids to get their Certificate of citizenship, so they won’t have problems later in life when they require the said document. 

Will You Get A Social Security Card When You Get A Green Card?

You’ll receive a social security card when you acquire a green card. The USCIS will have your social security number mailed to you once you receive the green card. 

Having a social security card is essential. It allows you to work in the U.S., pay taxes, and transact with financial institutions in the country. 

Having and updating your social security number is essential when living in the United States of America. 


So, why do I need to update my social security card after my citizenship? You need to update your SSC for several reasons. Firstly, your employers will use your social security number to confirm your eligibility to work in the United States of America. 

You don’t want your potential employer to see that you’re not a citizen and un-eligible when you claim you are. This may happen when you refuse to update your social security card. 

In addition to your eligibility to work, updating your status on your social security card will make you eligible for any government services and more.

Elizabeth Willett (MA)
Elizabeth Willett (MA)
Elizabeth Willett has an M.A in health and fitness, is an experienced trainer, and enjoys teaching children about healthy eating habits. She loves to cook nutritious meals for her family.


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