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 - whether or not they have authorized employment.
- 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 USCIS.
New students/scholars must also have completed the Check-in process, reported their U.S. Address and and have their SEVIS record activated.