Current F1 Students
The Social Security Number (SSN) is primarily intended to identify participants in the US federal government's Social Security Program. SSNs are generally assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States and are used to report their wages to the government.
COVID-19 Procedures Update
Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, Social Security Administration (SSA) offices have limited, emergency-only appointments available for students. If you need to apply for a Social Security number (SSN), you must call your local SSA office to request an appointment. Offering appointments is at the discretion of the SSA, and there may be a long wait list. If you apply (or have applied) for an SSN through your OPT application to USCIS, the SSA will still process your request.
SSN Application Process and Required Documents
To be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN), students must first obtain a job offer for on-campus or off-campus (CPT) employment. After securing a job offer, the student must request a Social Security Number (SSN) Supporting letter from your PDSO (Moon IC). Upon receipt of the PDSO SSN Supporting letter, the student must then apply for an SSN through the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).
New students must wait 10 business days after entering the U.S., as indicated on their I-94 arrival/departure record, to request an SSN Supporting letter from PDSO to allow time for their I-94 information to be updated with the SSA.
If you are currently in F-1 status and have found an on-campus job or have been authorized to work off-campus (such as CPT, OPT, or Economic Hardship), you should be eligible to apply for a SSN.
Important Note: SSN is NOT a work authorization. Just because you have a SSN does not mean you are eligible to work in the United States.