Social Security Number Application

Social Security Application Graphic
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COVID-19 Alert

 

The Manhattan Social Security Card Center and all SSA offices are closed until further notice.

  • It is not possible to apply online. 
  • If you have a pending application with the SSA, you may call this number 866-657-3406 to follow up. You will need the reference number on the receipt you obtained at the time of application at the Card Center. This number is only for applicants with a pending application. They cannot provide any other information.
  • If you have a pending application with the ISSO for a letter for your SSN application, we will not continue to process it at this time.
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Overview

A Social Security Number (SSN) is used primarily by employers and employees for tax-reporting purposes only. The employer needs to withhold taxes on your earnings using your unique number, and you need your social security number when you file a tax return.

A Social Security Number (SSN):

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Eligibility

In general, international students and scholars need to have authorized employment to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN), with the following exceptions:

  1.  F-1 doctoral fellowship recipients who do not work the first year but will later have teaching and research responsibilities
  2.  J-1 students, research and short-term scholars are eligible for an SSN without a specific job
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When and How to Apply

No applications are being accepted at this time. Learn more.

Social Security Card Timeline
Step 1

Gather your documents

When

You may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) as early as 30 days in advance of your employment start date.

How

There are 6 items that comprise your SSN application that you take to the Social Security Card Center. Please follow these instructions.

Step A. Obtain On-Campus Employment Verification form completed by your supervisor

Share the On-Campus Employment Verification form link with your supervisor who will complete and sign the fillable form. The form must be: 

  • printed on the hiring department's official letterhead
  • signed in blue ink with the supervisor's original signature
  • the supervisor signature must be less than 30 days old on the day you apply for an SSN

Step B.  Apply for the ISSO Social Security Letter

No applications are being accepted at this time. Learn more.

Log in to Compass with your UNI and password to request your ISSO Social Security Letter. Click on the link for your campus.

  • ISSO Morningside F-1 Students
  • ISSO - CUIMC F-1 Students 

After you submit the form, ISSO will email you  when your letter is ready for pick up. 

Step C. Take original documents 1 - 6 to the Social Security Card Center.

When

You may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) as early as 30 days in advance of your I-20 program start date. 

How

There are 6 items to take to the Social Security Card Center when you apply for an SSN. Please follow these instructions:

Step A. Find a copy of your official fellowship award letter that referred to future teaching/research responsibilities OR obtain a letter from your department's Graduate Coordinator or your academic adviser that confirms the terms of the fellowship regarding future teaching or research responsibilities. The letter must have original signature. 

Step B. Apply for ISSO Social Security Letter 

No applications are being accepted at this time. Learn more.

Log in to Compass with your UNI and password to request your ISSO Social Security Letter. Click on the link for your campus: 

  • ISSO Morningside: F-1 Students
  • ISSO - CUIMC: F-1 Students

After you submit the form, ISSO will email you when the ISSO Social Security Letter is ready for pick-up. 

Step C. When you have documents 1 - 6, go to the Social Security Card Center.

When

You may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) as early as 30 days in advance of your CPT employment start date printed on page 2 of your I-20. 

How

Take original 4 items that comprise your SSN application to the Social Security Card Center:

If you applied for a Social Security Number (SSN) through the I-765 OPT application, you do not need to follow these instructions to apply in person. Generally you will receive the SSN in the mail a few weeks after you receive the EAD. 

When

If you do need to apply for an SSN in person, you may apply on or after the OPT start date on your EAD card. 

How

Take the 5 original documents that comprise your SSN application to the Social Security Card Center:

Confirm your on-campus employment with the ISSO online if you haven't already done so. This is separate from your SSN application.

When

You may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) as early as 30 days in advance of your DS-2019 program start date.

How

There are 5 items that comprise your SSN application that you take to the Social Security Card Center. Please follow these instructions.

Step A.  Apply for an ISSO Social Security Letter 

No applications are being accepted at this time. Learn more.

Log in to Compass with your UNI and password to request your ISSO Social Security Letter. Click on the link for your campus: 

  • ISSO Morningside: F-1 Students
  • ISSO - CUIMC: F-1 Students

After you submit the request, ISSO will email you when your letter is ready for pick up. 

Step B. Take original 5 documents that comprise your SSN application to the Social Security Card Center.

When

You may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) as early as 30 days in advance of your DS-2019 program start date.

How

There are 5 items that comprise your SSN application that you take to the Social Security Card Center. Please follow these instructions.

Step A.  Apply for an ISSO Social Security Letter 

No applications are being accepted at this time. Learn more.

Log in to Compass with your UNI and password to request your ISSO Social Security Letter. Click on the link for your campus: 

  • ISSO Morningside: F-1 Students
  • ISSO - CUIMC: F-1 Students

After you submit the form, ISSO will email you when the ISSO Social Security Letter is ready for pick-up. 

Step B. Take original documents 1 - 5 to the Social Security Card Center.

When

You may apply for an SSN as early as 30 days in advance of your Academic Training employment start date.

How

There are 5 items that comprise your SSN application that you take to the Social Security Card Center:

When

You may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) as early as 30 days in advance of your DS-2019 program start date.

How

There are 5 items that comprise your SSN application that you take to the Social Security Card Center. Please follow these instructions.

Step A.  Email a request for an ISSO Social Security letter for J-1 Interns to the ISSO Scholar Services of your campus:

No applications are being accepted at this time. Learn more.

  • Morningside/Manhattanville
  • ISSO-CUIMC (medical campus)

ISSO will email you when your ISSO Social Security Letter is ready for pick-up. 

Step B. When you have documents 1 - 5, take your application to the Social Security Card Center.

When

You may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) as early as 30 days in advance of your DS-2019 program start date.  Wait two business days after you have reported your arrival online to ensure that your SEVIS record can be verified as "active".

How

There are 4 items that comprise your SSN application that you take to the Social Security Card Center. You do not require anything from the ISSO. 

If you applied for a Social Security Number (SSN) through the I-765 OPT application, you do not need to follow these instructions to apply in person. Generally you will receive the SSN in the mail a few weeks after you receive the EAD. 

When

If you do need to apply for an SSN in person, you may apply on or after the "valid from" date on your EAD card. 

How

There are 5 items that comprise your SSN application that you take to the Social Security Card Center:

When

You may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) on or after the "valid from" date on your I-797 Approval Notice 

How

There are 4 items that comprise your SSN application that you take to the Social Security Card Center:

When

You may apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) on or after the start date on the TN or E-3 sponsor's letter offering employment

How

There are 4 items that comprise your SSN application that you take to the Social Security Card Center:

Step 2

Go to the Manhattan Social Security Card Center and bring your original documents

123 William Street
New York, NY
10038
(7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday)

*Many subway lines including the #2, #3, and A lines go to Fulton Street station. Follow the signs for the William St. exit.

 

123 williams street
Step 3

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.

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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 your Social Security number if you know it and your card is not requested.

Check the document requirements under the category for your current eligibility. The SSN application has a question asking if you have ever filed for or received an SSN card before. 

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