International students, scholars, and employees are able to obtain a US Social Security Number or replacement SSN card according to their immigration status.
Students: J-1 students are eligible upon entry to the United States in valid status. F-1 students are eligible once they secure an on-campus job or obtain authorization for off-campus employment. At the University, many F-1 students become employed on-campus through a service-based award, Focus Group, or other student position. To apply for the SSN, students will need to document their eligibility by a letter from ISO: Special Information for Students
Scholars & Employees: J-1 scholars (in a non-student category) and employees (H-1B, TN, O-1, etc.) are automatically eligible to apply for the SSN. This is due to the employment-based nature of their immigration status. No additional documents from the ISO are required to apply, except for the J-1 Student Intern category.
Dependents: Dependents are usually eligible for a Social Security Number only when they require one for authorized employment purposes. Therefore, most dependent spouses are not eligible for a SSN, including F-2, H-4, O-3, and TD, since they do not have any work permissions in the United States. Spouses in J-2 status are only eligible to apply after receiving an Employment Authorization Document for work permission from USCIS. Dependent children are not eligible for the SSN, unless they are born in the United States as a citizen. Spouses may apply for an ITIN from the IRS, if needed.
If you are eligible for the SSN and have the necessary documents, please read more detailed information on the Application Process.
If you do not meet eligibility requirements for an SSN, the Social Security Administration cannot assign a new number to you and cannot replace a lost or damaged card, even if you already have an SSN. If you need to document your ineligibility or would like to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), see our FAQs.