Social Security Number

A Social Security Number (SSN) is required to earn wages, file taxes, and receive some types of government services in the U.S. A SSN is a nine-digit number issued to US citizens, permanent residents, and temporary workers by the Social Security Administration.

Like your passport, this document should be stored in a safe location and not carried on you. Once you are granted a SSN, it is yours for life.

F-1 Students

F-1 students are only eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) if they have a job offer through on-campus employment or authorized off-campus employment.

Process for Obtaining a Social Security Card

  1. You must first be hired for a campus job.
  2. The Department that hires you will send an Employment Action Form (EAF) to Student Employment.
  3. Student employment will contact you and will send you the forms you need to complete to work.
  4. Student employment will contact ISS to let us know that you need a Social Security number.
  5. ISS will contact you to schedule a time to drive to the Social Security Office office to apply for a SSN.  You will need to bring:
    • Passport
    • I-20
    • Social Security Application
    • I-94 (You need to print it out before you leave)
    • Employment letter provided by ISS the day you go to the Social Security Office

      You will receive a receipt from the Social Security Office that you will then take to Student Employment. You need to set up a meeting with them to complete your paperwork.
  6. Then you are legal to work and can set up your work schedule.
  7. You will receive your Social Security card in the mail in 2 weeks – you then take the card to Student Employment, the Registrar's Office and your bank.

Material on this website is general and for informational purposes only. It does not constitute or replace professional legal advice, and you should not rely on it solely when making decisions about your immigration status or reporting requirements.