Social Security Numbers
As an F-1 visa holder, can I get a Social Security Number?
As of October 13, 2004, if you are not working, you cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN). We realize that this is an inconvenience, as many banks, companies and rental office managers will request your SSN. If you are denied services because you do not have a SSN, International Student Services may be able to help by providing a letter to the company explaining the new regulations. You can also print this page and show it to the person requesting a SSN.
If you have (1) been offered a job on campus or (2)been approved for off-campus employment based on severe hardship, or (3) been approved for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or (4) enrolled in Curricular Practical Training (CPT), you are required to apply for a Social Security Number and International Student Services can help. Please keep reading.
When should I apply for a Social Security Number?
We recommend that you apply for a SSN as soon as you are offered a position of employment.
How do I apply for a Social Security Number?
To apply for a SSN, come to International Student Services so we can help you collect the documents you need. You will need to complete an application and submit the following to the Social Security Administration:
A letter from International Student Services stating that you are a student authorized to work on campus and that you are enrolled in a full course of study.
Proof of work or work eligibility
For on-campus employment, a letter from your supervisor verifying that you have secured employment and the nature of the job. Forms are available in ISS.
For Curricular Practical Training (CPT), an I-20 with the work authorized by the international advisor;
For Optional Practical Training (OPT), an Employment Authorization Document (EAD); or
For off-campus work based on economic hardship, authorization from USCIS.
Your I-94 card
Your current Form I-20 and any previous I-20’s you may have.
Where should I apply for a Social Security Number?
There are a number of Social Security Administration offices in the area. Call 1-800-772-1213 or go to http://www.ssa.gov/ to find the closest one to you.
When will I receive my Social Security Number?
In most cases, an F-1 student will be assigned a SSN three to five weeks after the application has been received. You may be able to learn what your number is prior to receiving the card by returning to the office where you applied and presenting the receipt the SSA gave you.