Social Security Number (SSN)
A Social Security number (SSN) is a unique identification number assigned by the United States federal government to monitor and tax wages earned by employees in the U.S. It does not grant employment authorization.
A SSN is not required to obtain a driver’s license, nor is it required to open a bank account, rent a car, purchase a cell phone or rent an apartment.
Eligibility for the SSN
F-1 STUDENTS are eligible to obtain a SSN if they are in valid F-1 status and have been offered an on-campus job; or they have been authorized for off-campus employment (Curricular or Optional Practical Training).
F-2 DEPENDENTS are not eligible to obtain a SSN because they cannot be employed.
J-1 STUDENTS are eligible to obtain a SSN if they are in valid J-1 status.
J-1 VISITING SCHOLARS are eligible to obtain a SSN if they are in valid J-1 status.
are eligible to obtain a SSN if they have received employment authorization from USCIS.
It is recommended that individuals are physically present in the U.S. for AT LEAST 10 CALENDAR DAYS BEFORE applying for a SSN. New students/scholars must also have completed Glavin Office check-in and have their SEVIS record activated.
Social Security Number (SSN) Denial Letter Process
For individuals looking to get a Driver's License or State ID who are not eligible for an SSN, a Denial Letter must be obtained. You should follow the SSN Application Process steps listed below and will be given a Denial Letter on the spot. Getting a Denial Letter will not affect your eligibility in the future, it just means that at this time, you are not eligible for the SSN.
Social Security Number (SSN) Application Process
Before applying for a SSN, new students/scholars must complete check-in with the Glavin Office and have their SEVIS records activated.
1. Update your current address on the Babson HUB (under Academic Services > Glavin Office > ISSS)
2. Obtain proof of SSN eligibility* (see list below)
3. Bring to the Social Security Office:
- Completed and printed SSN application (Form SS-5): www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/ss5.htm (for item #3 on the form, select legal alien allowed to work)
- most recent I-94 (arrival/departure record);
- Form I-20 (F-1) or Form DS-2019 (J-1)
- Proof of SSN eligibility
* Proof of SSN Eligibility
F-1 Students with an On-Campus Employment
Complete the On-Campus Employment & SSN Request. Bring the form and your I-94 to the Glavin Office. Forms will be processed during Walk-In Advising Hours or can be dropped off for 24 hours processing.
- You cannot apply for a SSN more than 30 days before your on-campus employment start date.
F-1 Students with Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Present your Form I-20 with CPT work authorization and I-94.
- Students with CPT cannot apply for a SSN more than 30 days before the CPT start date.
Optional Practical Training (CPT or OPT)
Present your EAD.
- Individuals on OPT cannot apply for a SSN until the OPT start date indicated on the EAD card.
J-1 Students with On-Campus Employment
Complete the On-Campus Employment & SSN Request. Bring the form and your I-94 (arrival/departure record) to the Glavin Office. Forms will be processed during Walk-In Advising Hours or can be dropped off for 24 hours processing.
- You cannot apply for the SSN more than 30 days before your on-campus employment start date.
J-1 Students with Academic Training
Present the Academic Training authorization letter issued by the Glavin Office with your current Form DS-2019.
- You cannot apply for the SSN until the Academic Training start date indicated on your Form DS-2019.
J-1 Students without Employment
Complete the On-Campus Employment & SSN Request. Bring the form and your I-94 (arrival/departure record) to the Glavin Office. Forms will be processed and a J-1 Social Security Letter will be issued during Walk-In Advising Hours or can be dropped off for 24 hours processing.
J-1 Visiting Scholars
A J-1 Social Security Letter will be issued to you upon check-in with the Glavin Office when you first arrive to the U.S. The letter verifies your valid immigration status and eligibility for the SSN.
Social Security Administration Offices Near Babson
- One Clarks Hills, Suite 305, Framingham, MA 01702 (Accessible via commuter rail), Phone: 844-587-1390. Visit www.ssa.gov or call office for hours.
- 10 Causeway Street, Room 148, Boston, MA 02222 (Accessible via MBTA), Phone: 800-772-1213. Visit www.ssa.gov or call office for hours.
- Additional nearby offices are located in Waltham, Cambridge and throughout the U.S.. Visit www.ssa.gov or call 800-772-1213 for more information.
Receiving Your SSN
Upon submission of your SSN application, you will be issued a receipt. Keep this receipt for your records. In most cases, you do not have to wait to receive the SSN card to begin working.
It will take up to 10 business days for your immigration record to be verified and your SSN card mailed to the address you indicated on the SSN application. For some individuals this verification process may take longer than 10 days to be issued.