Office of International Students and Scholars

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Social Security Numbers

A Social Security Number is only assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States.  Social Security Numbers are used to report your wages to the government.

Do you plan to work?

If you want to get a job on campus, you should contact OISS to confirm your eligibility to work on campus.  Also, depending on your circumstances, you may be authorized to engage in certain limited off-campus employment, as permitted under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations.  If you are eligible to work on campus, or you have been authorized to engage in off-campus employment, you may get a Social Security Number.

(For J-1 visitors and students who fall under other visa categories, please see your OISS adviser to confirm eligibility for on-campus employment.)

General On-Campus Employment

Each F-1 student requesting an SSN for general on-campus employment must show evidence that he or she has a general on-campus job or has been offered one that will begin in the next 30 days, or an SSN will not be assigned. This is in addition to providing evidence of age, identity, a SEVIS-generated Form I-20, and a current Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, showing F-1 nonimmigrant status.

The following two documents are required to document an F-1 student’s general on-campus employment only (they are not required for F-1 students authorized for CPT or those students who have an employment authorization document (EAD) from DHS):

A letter – typed or handwritten – on school letterhead from the designated school official (DSO) that identifies the:

1. Student by name
2. On-campus employer
3. Nature of the on-campus employment (e.g. waiting tables in the cafeteria, stocking shelves in the library, monitoring lab experments, etc.)

The student must provide a letter from the employer on the employer’s letterhead that provides employment verification, namely:

1.Identity of the student employee
2. Nature of the job the student is, or will be, engaged in
3. Anticipated or actual employment start date
4. Number of hours the student is expected to work
5. Employer Identification Number (EIN)
6. Employer Contact Information, including the telephone number and the name of the student's immediate supervisor
7. Original signature and signatory's title
8. Date

If the student had already started working on campus then a recently issued payslip or pay stub from the F-1 student’s employer may be presented in lieu of the employer letter.

Please note: All documents must be originals. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

Please see your OISS adviser for further information.