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Angela Rippon, eh?
It was always my ambition to appear on Strictly Come Dancing with that Charlotte Rampling.
Back on subject, the issue is not one of immigration status, but rather of taxes.
The IRS ( US Inland Revenue ) is bound and determined to screw the last possible dime out of everyone, and your SS number is also your “Taxpayer Identification Number”. Hence their insistence, and the bank´s compliance, with the need to ID anyone with a bank account.
The problem then arises for our buddy Across the Pond, above, that it might be difficult to get a credit card without an established bank account.
Nonetheless, employers sponsering immigrants, as no doubt is A-the-P´s case, have broad latitude to intercede and help. I worked for Big Oil, and we often set people up with all the bumpf required.
Financial services are more rigidly controlled nowadays, in case you were planning on contributing to Al Qaeda, and whereas it used to easy to get an SS card even if you weren´t – ahem – quite entitled to one, that surely is not the case nowadays.
You can, however, at least in California, obtain a driver´s license without an SS no., but it will be endorsed ” Not proof of legal residence”, or words to that effect. Your passport will suffice.
Finding a Gummint employee willing to work around the system is like trying to find a Yorkshire Jobsworth with a sense of humour, as they are constrained bt the rules, and most likely to be politely unco-operative.
Unlike those clowns in the TSA, for whom politeness is an oxymoron, but they are almost exclusively ex-US Army. Say no more.