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International Students & Scholars

Planning to Work?

Obtaining A Social Security Number

A Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique, 9-digit number used for taxpayer identification, income reporting, and record-keeping purposes. Once issued, the number is valid for life. Keep it safe and provide only as needed to U.S. government agencies or credible financial institutions. The SSN is required in order to be paid for any work done in the U.S. whether on-campus employment or off-campus internship (practical training).


Eligibility

International students holding a non-immigrant F-1 or J-1 student visa who have secured a paid position in the U.S. are eligible for a SSN.


Who can apply?


When to apply?

  • The application for a SSN must be made before your on-campus job begins.
  • You may not apply earlier than 30 days before your work begin date if you are doing on-campus work or CPT.
  • You may not apply earlier than the start date on your EAD card for OPT.
  • Once you’ve submitted your application you should receive your SSN within 2-4 weeks.

How to apply?

Application information - Obtaining A Social Security Number.


Where to apply?

Even though there are many Social Security Administration offices in New York, it is highly recommended to apply at your local office by your place of residence. You can also use the Social Security Office Locator to find the center where you should apply.


LOST YOUR Social Security Number?

It is important to protect your SSN and be aware of identity theft. If you lose your SSN card you will need to reapply for a new one. You can only apply for a replacement card if you are authorized to work off-campus or have an on-campus job.