Social Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) are enforcing the policy that social security numbers are for the purpose of working. The DHS and SSA are holding schools responsible for affirming that students and scholars are in need of a social security number for employment. Thus, in order for F-1 and J-1 students and scholars to receive a social security letter from the Office of International Students and Scholars, a student or scholar must have an employment offer letter.

We understand that traditionally, letters of offer are not given to student assistants. Therefore, we have provided a template for departments to use on their letterhead. Students should logon to OISS' Document Request Portal and complete a request for a Social Security Letter.  The Social Security Letter is typically available from the OISS office the next business day.

Students will take the OISS social security letter, along with the employment offer letter and original non-immigrant documents (Form I-20 or DS-2019, passport, I-94) to a local social security office.

Please note that F-1 and J-1 students and scholars must wait at least 10 days after entering the U.S. before submitting a social security card application.

For non-EAD based F-1 student employment (CPT and on-campus employment) SSA will not process an application for a SSN if it is more than 30 days in advance of the scheduled employment start date.

A recent pay stub is required and if there isn't pay stub, the student must provide a letter from the on-campus employer on the employer's letterhead with the information.

In the case of EAD-based F-1 employment, the employment start date on the EAD must already have been reached before SSA will process the application for a SSN.

Because of the various security checks involved, it may take 6 - 12 weeks before a new social security number is issued by the SSA.