The following questions and answers from Social Security Administration are provided to assist in applying for a Social Security number.
A Social Security number (SSN) is a type of identification number used for Social Security. It is a nine digit number resembling “123-00-1234” which is issued to an individual by the United States Federal Government. An SSN is intended to accurately record the earnings of the individual to whom it is issued. SSNs also function as a general identification number in many situations. The identification number (SSN) assigned to the individual is then issued to the individual on a card. This card is referred to as the “Social Security card.”
As a student or an exchange visitor, you may need an SSN and card if you plan to work in the United States. Your sponsor or third party placement organization may require it for payroll records.
Recent provisions in U.S. law have changed the rules for assigning a SSN and issuing a Social Security card. Also, see Foreign Workers and Social Security Numbers at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10107.html.
If the nonimmigrant is ineligible for an SSN, he or she can receive a decision letter stating that ineligibility.
To apply for a Social Security number (SSN), you must:
For F-1 visa holders:
For J-1 visa holders:
The Social Security Administration (SSA) must verify your documents with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) before a Social Security number (SSN) can be assigned to you. After receiving the verification from DHS, a SSN will be issued to you and the Social Security card (containing the assigned SSN) will be mailed to the address provided on the application (Form SS-5). Most of the time, documents can be verified quickly with DHS, online. If the documents cannot be verified online, it may take DHS several weeks to respond to the request. The SSA works closely with DHS to reduce these delays.
For more information and to find copies of Social Security Administration (SSA) publications, visit their Web site at www.socialsecurity.gov or call toll-free, 1-800-772-1213 (for the deaf or hard of hearing, call their TTY number, 1-800-325-0778). The SSA representatives can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Information is also provided by automated phone service 24 hours a day. All calls are treated confidentially.
920 W BASIN ROAD
NEW CASTLE, DE 19720
Local Number: 1-866-667-7221
National Toll-Free: 1-800-772-1213
Office Hours: MONDAY - FRIDAY: 9:00 AM - 03:30 PM, except Federal Holidays