International Students in F-1 or J-1 status are eligible for a Social Security number (SSN) if certain conditions are met (see below). An SSN is required before students can begin any on-campus employement.
The Office of International Affairs can provide a verification letter of employment eligibility for students who need to apply for an SSN. To request your letter, visit our student letter request page. Please note that at the beginning of each fall semester, OIA invites the Social Security Administration to campus to process new graduate assistants and other new campus hires. If you are a new hire at that time, we ask that you wait for this session before receiving your letter. You will be notified as to the exact time and date of that session. Letter requests at other times throughout the academic year will be proceessed in the order they are received. Letters are usually available within 3 to 5 business days after request.
To be eligible for a Social Security number you must meet the following requirements:
- Be in J-1 or F-1 status
- Have form DS-2019 (for J-1) or from I-20 (for F-1)
- Have your most recent I-94 (which you can download on the I-94 website)
- Be in ACTIVE status in SEVIS
- Have an offer letter of employment
For more specific information on eligibility and how to apply, please refer to the Social Security Fact Sheet. Please also see the information about Social Security numbers on the Study in the States website as well.