​Obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN) - CPT, On-Campus Employment, Academic Training: 

U.S. law now requires non-immigrants to have a valid job offer to qualify for a Social Security Number (SSN). You can apply for an SSN only if you have a job offer for an on-campus employment, Practicum or Internship.  Apply no earlier than 30 days prior to your scheduled employment start date. 


1. Obtain a signed job offer on letterhead from the person hiring you. Be sure the letter includes the job description, the start and duration of the job, and the supervisor’s contact information:

CPT and Academic Training: A job offer is required for CPT and AT authorization so you may use the same letter you submit with your CPT application. 

TCSPP On-Campus Employment: If your job is on-campus at TCSPP, be sure you and your employer have done everything required by Human Resources at TCSPP before commencing employment. Upon offering employment, your employer will issue a job offer letter (please see the 'job offer template' in the forms section of our website). You will need to bring this completed letter along with other required document to apply for SSN. While your SSN is ​pending, you are able to start work by following the instructions as stipulated by the U.S. Social Security Administration.

OPT: A job offer is NOT required to obtain OPT authorization. Students can apply for SSN either after the EAD is received or together when applying for OPT by enter the information on I-765.


2. Send  the Job Offer Letter to your DSO on your campus to request an SSN Application Support Letter. Visit the Forms page for further guidance. 


3. Once you have obtained a support letter, download an application form for a Social Security Number at https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf. Follow the instructions and complete the application.  

4. Bring the application, along with your SSN letter, job offer letter, passport, I-94 Admission Print-Out and I-20/DS-2019 (all) to the Social Security Office.  To find the Social Security office nearest you, visit: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp​​

5. If your application is complete, Social Security Administration Office will issue you a receipt of your request of SSN.  It takes about 2 weeks to get your card.  If you do not receive the number in three weeks, you will go back to SSN office with the receipt to follow up your SSN status. Provide the card to your supervisor before or when you start employment.  International students can start to work with the receipt presented to your hiring employer's HR.
 

Obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN) - OPT:

Students applied for OPT and received  the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) can apply for SSN without a job offer ONLY when the jo​b start date on the EAD is effective.  USCIS has revised the I-765 Form, Application for Employment Authorization ​and you also can apply SSN at the same time when applying for OPT.​​