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.
- International Students and Social Security Numbers
- USCIS Fact Sheet: Information for F and M Visa Holders Applying for Benefits: Immigration Status Verification using SAVE
- USCIS Fact Sheet: SAVE Information for Designated School Officials Responsible for Updating SEVIS for F and M Visa Students
- Checking Your SAVE Case Status
- Applying for a Driver's License or State Identification Card