Social Security Number

The U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) is required in order to be paid for work in the United States. Check with your hiring department to find out if you can start working while applying for an SSN. SSN is used primarily by employers and employees for tax-reporting purposes only. The employer needs to withhold taxes on your earnings using your unique number, and you need your social security number when you file a tax return. Dependents in F-2 status are not eligible for a Social Security number.
 

For Driver's License application

If you are not eligible for SSN and want to obtain a driver's license, you will need to request a Letter of Ineligibility, also referred to as a denial letter, from the Social Security Administration (SSA) stating that you are not eligible for a Social Security card. Due to COVID, currently you will need to request this letter by mail.


Important Notes

  • Wait 10 business days from the date you attend new student orientation before applying for your SSN.
  • Students in F-1 status are not eligible for a Social Security number unless they have an offer of employment. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
  • Once you receive your Social Security Card (approximately 2-6 weeks via mail) UPDATE the following:

-  Your University records (i.e. the registrar)

-  Your personal records (banks, employer, etc.)

Please note that you cannot apply for an SSN more than 30 days prior to your CPT/OPT start date. 

 

F-1 Students with Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Authorization

Required documents: take the following documents to the Social Security Office.

  • Valid Passport with visa
  • I-20 with CPT endorsement on page 2 
  • Printout of your most recent I-94 arrival record
  • SSN Application Form (Form SS-5)
  • Evidence of employment (i.e. a recent pay slip or letter from your employer that describes your job, employment start date, employer EIN, number of work hours, and your supervisor’s name and telephone number.)
  • Letter of enrollment verification from the International Student Office
  • How to request an Enrollment Verification Letter: Submit a letter request HERE

 

F-1 Students with Optional Practical Training (OPT) Authorization

Required documents: take the following documents to the Social Security Office.

  • Valid Passport with visa
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • Most recent I-20
  • Printout of your most recent I-94 arrival record
  • SSN Application Form (Form SS-5)
  • Evidence of employment (i.e. a recent pay slip or letter from your employer that describes your job, employment start date, employer EIN, number of work hours, and your supervisor’s name and telephone number.)
  • Letter of enrollment verification from the International Student Office
  • How to request an Enrollment Verification Letter: Submit a letter request HERE