Obtaining A Social Security Number

The United States has a nationwide pension supplement system known as Social Security. A nine-digit number, which is referred to as a Social Security Number or SSN, is assigned to all US citizens, permanent residents, and some international visitors. The SSN is used as a means to keep a record of income for tax purposes.

Please note that the SSN itself is not work authorization. Work authorization is required in order for an international student to qualify for an SSN. International students who are unemployed do not qualify for a SSN.

NOTE: Students who have been hired to work on-campus are required to fill out a Request for Social Security Number Form before they contact the Social Security Administration. This is only necessary for students who are employed on-campus. 

The form has three (3) sections; you complete the top section, your campus employer completes the middle section, and then you bring the form to the ISSS Office for our completion.  Please note that our turn around time is 5-7 business days.*

NOTE: The ISSS Office cannot complete a SSN form until classes have begun and the student is properly registered. After checking these conditions, the ISSS Office updates the SEVIS immigration system with your current semester information. 

You will receive an email when the form and updated I-20 are ready to be picked up in the ISSS Office.  You may then contact your local Social Security Administration office and make an appointment to apply for an SSN. You will have to bring certain documents to your appointment, so be sure to prepare in advance. The list of required documents is listed on the back of the SSN form, as is the address of the local social security office; this information is subject to change at any time. Please contact the Social Security Administration for more information.

*IMPORTANT: Please note that after the ISSS Office updates your SEVIS record, it can then take SEVIS up to ten (10) business days to disseminate your information to all entities, including the Social Security Administration, Driver's License bureaus, and any other local/state/federal agencies (this is called the SAVE system).



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