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.
The SSN is required for all individuals who are employed in the United States. It is not required to obtain a driver’s license, nor should it be 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.
J-2 Dependents are eligible to obtain a SSN if they have received employment authorization from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services ( please see the J-2 Employment Authorization handout available from OIP).
Note: Students and scholars must be physically present in the U.S. for at least 10 calendar days BEFORE applying for the SSN. New students/scholars must also have completed OIP check-in and have their SEVIS record activated.