Benefits for International Students
While studying in the United States, you can apply for certain benefits. If you want to drive or are authorized to work in the country, you need to apply for a driver’s license or Social Security number (SSN).
You need a driver’s license to drive in the United States and it is important to follow U.S. laws. To apply for a license, you must be in Active status in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System and present the proper documentation to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state. Read more on the driving in the United States page.
If you are an F-1 student in Active status, you may be able to work on or off-campus. However, your designated school official (DSO) or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must approve any request to work and you should know that the U.S. government takes working illegally very seriously. You will receive a letter of approval from your DSO, which you need to apply for a Social Security number (SSN). You need to have an SSN to report any income you receive and pay taxes. Read more about the steps for obtaining an SSN here.
If you have any questions about your benefits or how to obtain more information, talk to your DSO.