Social Security Number Application
Before You Apply
In general, all international students and scholars need to have authorized employment to be eligible to apply for a number from the Social Security Agency (SSA), a federal agency. Two important exceptions are:
- First year F-1 doctoral fellowship recipients who will be paid a “non-work” stipend the first year only and will later have teaching or research responsibilities
- All J-1 research and short-term scholars
F and J students and J-1 scholars must have an active SEVIS record.
This means you must have submitted an ISSO online report of your arrival at least 2 days before applying for an SSN, which changes your SEVIS status from "initial" to "active". If you have not done so yet, follow the instructions on the link below:
How to Apply
Gather your documents
Go to the Manhattan Social Security Card Center and bring all your documents
123 William Street
New York, NY
Wait 1-2 weeks to receive your SSN in the mail
After you receive your SSN, we advise you not to carry the Social Security Card with you, but to memorize the number or make a note of it elsewhere and put the card in a safe place with your other important documents. We all need to be careful to avoid identity theft. Don't lose your card! Replacement is tricky.
Replacing a Lost Social Security Card
The SSA will replace your card (and will give you the same number) only if you are currently eligible to get one. However, you may continue to use the number if you know it.