Social Security

What is a Social Security Number? 
All U.S. employers require employees to have a Social Security Number (SSN).  A Social Security Number (SSN) is required to receive compensation for work in the US (F-1 on-campus employment, paid internship, Optional Practical Training (OPT). The Social Security Number is a permanent ID number issued by the U.S. government. 

When can I apply for a Social Security Number?
You may apply for a SSN only if you have received a job offer. You must have entered the U.S. at least 10 days prior to submitting your application. You may not apply more than 30 days before the start of your job. 

For instructions on how to obtain a Social Security Number, please read the Social Security Information Sheet. 

How Can I Apply for a Social Security Number?

  • Download the SSN application from the Social Security Administration website www.ssa.gov; or obtain an application at a local Social Security Office.
  • Complete and sign the application;
  • Take the application and required documents (listed below) to any US Social Security office during regular business hours; and
  • Allow at least two weeks for processing and mailing.

Present the following documents when you apply for a Social Security Number:

Additional Resources for Students:

Enrollment Verification Letter Request Form
International Students and Social Security Numbers- From the Social Security Administration

Resources for Employers:
 Social Security Guidance for Employers Hiring Foreign Nationals 
Sample Employer Letter