How to apply for a Social Security Number

International Programs

Details about procedures for getting a social security number are on the SEVIS website: (click on Students and Exchange Visitors, then scroll down to Getting A Social Security Number) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) website: (F-1 visa's go to:; J-1 visa's go to: )

You should be in the US more than ten days before going to the SSA office to apply for a social security number so that data from the port-of-entry has a chance to be entered in the SSA computer system. SSA will also verify your status and eligibility to get a social security number by checking information in the SEVIS/SAVE systems, so you must check in with an Immigration Advisor in the Center for International Programs (CIP), to be sure your information is in those systems at least 48 hours prior to going to the SSA office.

Employment or the written offer of employment is mandatory for eligibility of a social security number.

The following items are required to apply for a Social Security Number:

  • passport with visa
  • a second type of identification (Humboldt identification card)
  • I-94
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • letter of “prospective/confirmed employment” from employer to include the following information: identity of the student employee, job description, anticipated or actual employment start date, number of hours the student is expected to work, employer identification number, employer contact information, including the telephone number, the name of the F-1/J-1 student's immediate supervisor, original signature, signatory's title, and date (see Sample A). Bring this letter to an Immigration Advisor in the CIP. letter from the Immigration Advisor, verifying eligibility for employment (This letter can only be issued after the letter of “prospective/confirmed employment” from employer (see above) has been received)
  • SS-5 form. Download the form from: or visit the local Social Security Office (on #3 check “Legal Alien Allowed to Work”)
Routing Instructions: 

Drop off to front desk at Feuerwerker House (House 13).