Social Security

F1 visa holders are eligible for a social security number (SSN) only if they have a job.

If you have been offered a job on-campus and do not already have an SSN, you must apply for an SSN immediately.

Social Security Basics

What is a Social Security Number (SSN)?  
Eligibility for an SSN  

SSN Application Process

Step 1 - Get a Job  
Step 2 - Start the Hiring Process  
Step 3 - Obtain an Employer-Issued SSN Letter  
Step 4 - Schedule an Appointment with a DSO  
Step 5 - Go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office  
Step 6 - Immediately After You Receive your SSN  

New Students & Social Security

If you are a new student and are offered an on-campus job, there are some additional timelines that you need to be aware of. These timelines allow the government systems that are used for Social Security and immigration to catch-up with each other and reflect your current status.

  • Must be in the U.S. for at least 10 days before applying for an SSN
  • Must have a Continued Attendance I-20 to apply for an SSN
  • Wait at least 48 hours after your Continued Attendance I-20 is issued before going to the SSA

Social Security FAQs

Can I Use My Preferred Name for the SSN?