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. This handout is specific for F-1 and J-1 students, J-1 Scholars/Professors, and employees in H-1B Status.
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:
- 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.
- Be enrolled in a full course of study.
- Report to International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) so that your SEVIS record can be registered. This could take 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.
- The Verification of Employment for Social Security letter (from hiring department)
- The Verification of Employment Eligibility for Social Security letter (from ISSS)
- Your passport and I-94 Admission Number (from www.cbp.gov/i94)
- Your I-20 or DS-2019
- 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 Scholars and Professors and Employees in H-1B Status
J-1 Scholars can apply for a Social Security number 1 business day after checking in with ISSS. Those on H-1B can apply for a Social Security number 1 business day after entering the U.S. Please take the following documents.
- A letter from your employing department that states you will be employed at K-State. The letter must specify your start date.
- Your passport
- Your I-94. You can print this out at www.cbp.gov/i94.
- Your DS-2019 (for J-1 scholars or professors) or I-797 Approval Notice (for H-1B specialty workers)