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Social Security Number

Apply for a Social Security Card

Here is essential information regarding the process of applying for a Social Security Number (SSN) as an international student on an F-1 or J-1 visa. Obtaining an SSN is a crucial step if you plan to work in the United States, and it’s important to understand the procedures and requirements involved. If you work in the U.S., you must be sure you have work authorization and must apply for an SSN. 

1. Purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN): A Social Security number is primarily issued to track earnings over a worker’s lifetime.  

2. Eligibility for SSN: International students are eligible to apply for an SSN if you have secured employment authorization. Eligible employment options include on-campus jobs, Curricular Practical Training (CPT), and Optional Practical Training (OPT). 

3. How to Apply for an SSN: Begin by securing a job offer. Ensure that your employment is following the regulations governing your visa status.

4. Protecting Your SSN: Your SSN is a unique number assigned to you for life. It’s essential to memorize the number and keep the physical card in a secure place. Only carry it with you when necessary, and never share it with anyone unless required by authorized entities. Beware of fraudulent calls or requests for your SSN and always verify the legitimacy of such requests. If you receive phone calls saying that you are in trouble with the IRS or the police and you are asked to provide your SSN, end the call immediately. 

5. Lost or Stolen SSN Card: In the event that your SSN card is lost, stolen, or damaged, you must request a replacement promptly. This can typically be done through the Social Security Administration’s website or by visiting their office in person.