Social Security Number (SSN)
The SSN is a nine-digit number issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for Federal tax purposes only. It does not entitle you to social security benefits and does not change your immigration status or grant employment authorization.
How to Apply
You are only eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) if you have on-campus employment or authorization to work off campus. If you have on-campus employment, such as a student worker position or graduate assistantship, International Student Services (ISS) will provide you a letter (a Social Security Letter for F-1 students and a J-1 Employment Authorization letter for J-1 students) to take to Social Security Administration (SSA) to apply for your SSN.
If you have been authorized for work off campus (curricular practical training, optional practical training, academic training or severe economic hardship) you do not need to request a letter from ISS before applying at SSA. Take your I-20/DS-2019, passport and I-94 to SSA to apply for the SSN.
F-1 Social Security Letter Requests
J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization Requests
Submit the On-Campus Employment Authorization e-form in UA International.
Normal processing time for ISS is 5 business days. You cannot apply for an SSN until 10 days after your entry to the U.S., and 2 days after your initial immigration record has been registered in SEVIS.