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International Student & Scholar Services

Obtaining a Social Security Number

The United States has a nationwide pension supplement system known as Socia 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.

Once your work authorization has been approved, you may contact your local Social Security Administration office and make an appointment to obtain 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 subject to change at any time. Please contact the Social Security Administration for more information.