Social Security Number
Procedures to Obtain a Social Security Number
A Social Security Number (SSN) is a permanent nine-digit identification number/card issued by the United States government. Social Security Numbers are ONLY available to F-1 students who have an offer of employment on campus or specific work authorization granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Students must check in at the International Student Office (ISO) before applying for a social security number (SSN).
The ISO staff must activate your SEVIS record at least 48 hours before you go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office. SSA will not accept an SSN application if you have not first checked in with ISO. Applicants should be in the United States for more than ten days before going to the SSA office to apply. This allows arrival data from the port-of-entry to be entered in the primary system. Students who try to apply earlier are rejected and their paper applications are put into a manual process that can take several weeks to complete.
Social Security Application
Applicants must have proper documentation:
- I-94, Arrival/Departure Record (issued when you arrived in the United States showing your lawful immigration status)
- If you are an F-1 student, your I-20 (certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant status)
- If you are a J-1 student, your DS-2019 (certificate of eligibility for exchange visitor status)
- Letter from your designated school official (ISO international student adviser) indicating you are registered at the University and your immigration status
- Signed letter from your employer describing your job, your employment start date, where you will be working and your supervisor’s name and telephone number
Working While Awaiting an SSN
An F-1 student may work while the Social Security number application is being processed. Employers may wish to reference SSA’s fact sheet, Employer Responsibilities When Hiring Foreign Workers
. This fact sheet contains information on how to report wages for an employee who has not yet received an SSN.
Do not apply for a social security number for invalid reasons. Authorized employment is almost always the basis for the assignment of a social security number. Reasons that are not valid, according to the SSA, include such needs as driver’s license, loans, rental agreements, etc.
Social Security Office
4750 Canyon Dr.
Amarillo, TX 79109
Local Number 1-888-221-1113
National Too Free 1-800-772-1213
From Canyon - Take I-27 towards Amarillo. Exit I-27 at 45th, turn left and go under the bridge and back towards Canyon on I-27 again. The office is on the access road on your right side.
Hours of operation
Monday-Friday, except Federal Holidays: 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
For further information on social security, please visit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement