The Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued by the Social Security Administration office to the following eligible noncitizens for employment purposes.

  • F-1 students with authorized on-campus employment
  • F-1 students with authorized curricular practical training (CPT)
  • F-1 students with authorized optional practical training (OPT)
  • J-1 exchange visitors

The SSN will not be issued as a form of identification, to obtain a driver’s license, or for other personal reasons such as banking, insurance, tax filing, and fingerprinting. For assistance, contact the Social Security Administration by phone at 1.800.772.1213.

A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is an identification number available for international students and scholars who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN) and is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax-related documents.

Required Documents

You must have the following original documents or copies certified by the issuing agency. Photocopies or notarized copies of documents will not be accepted by the Social Security Administration. Applicants in initial status must wait 2 weeks following the SEVIS registration from their DSO.

  • Application for a Social Security card (SS-5)
  • Valid Original I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-94 Arrival Document – Most Recent
  • Unexpired Foreign Passport
  • Proof of Employment Authorization through one of the following:
    • F-1 Student – On-campus employment hiring letter and DSO work authorization letter dated within 30 days
    • F-1 Student – CPT endorsed I-20 and Official Employer Letter
    • F-1 Student – Unexpired Employment Authorization (EAD) Card
    • J-1 Exchange Visitor – Letter from Responsible Officer dated within 30 days

Steps to Apply for Your SSN

Eligible candidates must complete the following steps to obtain your SSN.

  • Start the application process online – Social Security Number and Card.
  • Print and save the online control number shown once you complete the online application.
  • Bring the online control number and all required documents within 30 days of your local office.
  • Locate your local office in the country where you physically live, Social Security Locator.
  • Check-in at the kiosk when you arrive.
  • Submit application and required documents.
  • You should receive your SSN card within two weeks after submitting a complete application with the SSA Office. If you do not receive your card within three weeks, contact the Social Security Administration Office at 1-800-772-1213.

Social Security Administration Resources

Find out information on required documentation, eligibility and office locations.
Phone Number
More Info
Post Hall, 203
  • Regular Semester Hours Mon - Fri: 8:30 am–4:30 pm
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