To receive wages legally in the United States, international students who want to work must apply for a social security number (SSN). As of October 13, 2004, the Social Security Administration will issue SSNs to international students only after they secure legal employment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires international students to provide proof of F-1 status, proof of employment, and work authorization to obtain an SSN.

Set your appointment at the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office no more than two weeks before your estimated start day. 

What to Bring to Your Appointment

  1. Social Security Application

  2. Passport/Visa

  3. F1 proof: I-20

  4. Job Offer Letter from Designated School Official

  5. Birth Certificate


Designated School Official Support Letter

We will provide the DSO Support Letter once you have a confirmed appointment. Some of the information we need for the letter:

  • Supervisor's Name 
  • Position Title 
  • Department 
  • Contact Information (Email & Phone Number) 
  • Estimated Start Date

After Your Appointment

It may take 1-2 weeks to receive your card by mail. Make sure your address is current.

The SSA Office will provide a letter confirming they have started the process. Please provide a copy of this letter to Human Resources to begin your onboarding process. 

Once you receive your card, provide your Social Security number to your employer/Human Resources so they can finalize your hiring paperwork.