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Social Security Number (SSN) Information

International Students

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.

Step 1: Find an On Campus or Off Campus job (Special authorization required for off-campus employment)

Handshake is Concordia University’s online career services platform. Use Handshake to find a job on campus.

Step 2: Obtain On-Campus or Off-Campus (CPT) Employment Letter

Your employment start date must be no sooner than 30 days prior to the date you submit your SSN Recommendation letter request to PDSO. Do not proceed to Step 2 until you have completed Step 1.

If you have obtained On-Campus employment at Concordia University Irvine, you will need a job offer letter* from your On-Campus employer and a SSN supporting letter from PDSO in order to apply for a SSN.

*Refer to the Concordia University Irvine sample on campus job offer letter for additional guidance. Please provide this sample job offer letter to your campus employer. The SSA will reject any application that fails to include an employment letter that meets the requirements.

Step 3: Request SSN Supporting Letter from PDSO (Moon International Center)

Submit documents below to your PDSO at [email protected].

  • On campus job offer letter (Refer to Sample on campus job offer letter)
  • SSN Supporting Letter Request Form Enter information fully and accurately. Failure to enter information correctly will cause additional delays with processing and/or result in rejection from the SSA.

The PDSO will contact you when PDSO SSN Supporting letter is ready to pick-up

Step 4: Schedule Appointment with SSA

Upon receipt of your signed PDSO SSN Supporting letter, you must immediately call your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office to schedule an in-person appointment. You must provide the following original documents to the SSA when requested:

SSA Office Locations near Concordia University Irvine Campuses

Mission Viejo: 26051 Acero, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Santa Ana: 1851 E 1st St # 500, Santa Ana, CA 92705

Step 5: Wait approximately 2 weeks for the Social Security Card to arrive in the mail

An SSN card will be issued within about two weeks of receiving certification from DHS. In most cases, the SSA can quickly verify the documents online.

When you apply, you may ask for a receipt for your submitted SSN application.

STEP 6: Once you receive your card, take it to the Human Resources Department to update your file

It is your responsibility to give the number to the Human Resources Office as soon as you receive it in order to avoid any delays in receiving payment.

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