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Steps for Obtaining a Social Security Number

Follow the steps below to apply for a Social Security number (SSN).

  • Talk with your Designated School Official (DSO) about working in the United States

    Your DSO will share important information regarding the regulations and requirements for F and M students. This step is very important!

  • Ensure you are in Active status in SEVIS 

     Your SEVIS record must be in Active status for at least two days before applying for an SSN. If you have a record in any other status, you will not have success in applying for an SSN.

  • Wait 10 days after arriving in the United States before applying for an SSN

    Wait at least 10 calendar days from your date of entry into the United States to apply for an SSN. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program to verify your immigration status information against records contained in the Department of Homeland Security databases, including those housed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Since the verification relies on the original data source, you must allow time for your arrival information to update in all government systems.

  • Visit your local Social Security Administration (SSA) Office.

    You can file your application for an SSN card in person at any Social Security Administration office. Be prepared to provide your original documents to prove your age, identity and, work-authorized immigration status. All evidence of immigration status and work authorization must be unexpired. For more information on the types of documents you need, refer to the SSA website.

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