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International Student and Scholar Services

Applying for a Social Security Number

Who is eligible for a Social Security Number?

In general, all nonimmigrants must have permission to work in the U.S. in order to apply for a Social Security number.  

How do I apply for a Social Security Number?

For F-1 and J-1 Students

Only those eligible to work may apply for a Social Security number. This will include F-1's; J-1's, with permission from the sponsor; and J-2's with authorization from USCIS. F-2's cannot apply for a Social Security number because they are not eligible to work. 

In order to apply for a Social Security number you must:

  1. Have been offered employment.  The hiring department must complete the "Verification of Employment for Social Security".  This letter must be printed out on departmental letterhead. 
  2. Be enrolled in a full course of study.
  3. If you are a new student, you must report to  International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) so that your SEVIS record can be registered. This could take up to 5 business days.

The student will bring the Verification of Employment for Social Security letter to ISSS. ISSS will verify full-time enrollment by providing a Verification of Employment Eligibility letter.

The student will then take the following documents to the Social Security Administration to apply for a Social Security number.

  1. The Verification of Employment for Social Security letter (from hiring department)
  2. The Verification of Employment Eligibility for Social Security letter (from ISSS)
  3. Your passport and and a print out of your I-94 (from www.cbp.gov/i94)
  4. Your I-20 or DS-2019
  5. For J-1 students, if your sponsor is other than Kansas State University, you must bring a copy of a letter from your sponsor stating that you have permission to work.
For J-1 Research Scholars, Short Term Scholars, Professors and Interns and Employees in H-1B Status

All those on J-1 and H-1B visa must be in the U.S. for 10 calendar days befor applying for a Social Security number.  Please take the following documents.

  1. A letter from your employing department that states you will be employed at K-State.  The letter must specify your start date.
  2. Your passport
  3. Your I-94.  You can print this out at www.cbp.gov/i94.
  4. Your DS-2019 (for J-1) or I-797 Approval Notice (for H-1B specialty workers)