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I came to US in 2002 as an international student. I was issues a SSN card which said "Valid for Work Only With INS Authorization". Around 2009 or 2010 I became US citizen and received by US passport. I forgot about my SSN card. It still says "Valid for Work Only With INS Authorization".

Should I request a replacement SSN card so they can remove that wording from my card? Will the replacement card have the same SSN number?

Any downsides if I keep it that way and don't update it. It has been more than 10 years and I have not faced any issues with the card still saying "Valid for Work Only with INS Authorization".

Recommendations?

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    Yes, I would get it replaced. It will be an issue potentially at a new employer.
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 19, 2023 at 17:55
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    Thanks! Actually between 2009 and 2023 I changed 3-4 different employers and it has never been an issue. But thanks!
    – john doe
    Aug 19, 2023 at 18:24

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You should update your status with SSA and get a new card, although it is not urgent. You will keep the same Social Security Number (SSN) itself, for life.

One downside is that a Social Security card without any restriction text on it can be used as a List C document for form I-9 which you fill out when you start work, while a restricted card cannot. Of course, you can use another List A or List C document (e.g. a US passport is a List A document, or you can use your Certificate of Naturalization as a List C document plus your driver's license which is a List B document) to pass the I-9. But if you had an unrestricted Social Security card, then you have another option -- your unrestricted Social Security card (a List C document) plus your driver's license (a List B document), which may be more convenient. (Most US citizens don't maintain a valid US passport, and even if they do, they still don't have it during renewal which can take a long time.)

Besides that, it is usually recommended that you update SSA after you naturalize, even if you already have an unrestricted card, because in some states, certain disability benefits are limited to US citizens.

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    @johndoe your SSN does not change. See the second sentence of this answer. For what it's worth, the restriction "Valid for Work Only With INS Authorization" became obsolete when you became a lawful permanent resident, not when you became a US citizen.
    – phoog
    Aug 19, 2023 at 19:50
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    @johndoe it won't affect your benefits. The card is restricted, not the SSN; before you became an LPR, you were restricted, but afterward you were unconditionally authorized to work and therefore entitled to an unrestricted card. But having the unrestricted card itself isn't needed; what matters is your actual status. The restricted card exists to allow people to prove their SSN without implying that they're unconditionally authorized to work. Some people even get cards saying "employment not authorized," but if they are later authorized they keep the same number and can get a new card.
    – phoog
    Aug 20, 2023 at 8:53
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    Normally, when applying for a job you have to show proof of legal to work--normally that's passport/certificate of naturalization/social security card/INS authorization. Your social security card is the only one of these that could go in your wallet the day you're filling out the paperwork. The number doesn't change--my wife still has the same number as when she had a "Not valid for employment" card. Aug 21, 2023 at 4:04
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    @johndoe the only reason you would need the card is for the I-9, as explained in this answer. Only you can judge the wisdom of obtaining a new card because only you can estimate the likelihood of your needing it, because only you can estimate the likelihood of your starting a new job and being unable to bring your passport or naturalization certificate. As for US-citizen-only benefits, if you ever need to claim such a benefit then you can inform the SSA of your US citizenship at that point, but you may prefer to do it now while you are under less stress, as recommended in this answer.
    – phoog
    Aug 21, 2023 at 10:26
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    @LorenPechtel in my experience the need to show documentary proof arises on the first day of work. During the application process the employer typically asks candidates whether they are authorized to work and any formal offer may include being authorized as an explicit condition of employment.
    – phoog
    Aug 21, 2023 at 10:37

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