The Social Security Number
(SSN) is a 9-digit number issued by the Social Security Administration
(SSA) to those individuals who are eligible to work in the United
States. The SSN is required in order to be paid for any work you do in
the U.S. whether it is on-campus or for practical training. Though the
SSN is only required to be paid by an employer, many other institutions
in the U.S. ask for a SSN (i.e. banks, cell phone vendors, the
Department of Drivers Licenses), and it is generally easier to obtain
services from these institutions if you already have a SSN. You are
under no obligation to obtain a SSN; however, if you plan to work in the
United States, you will need to obtain one.
Effective October 13, 2004, the SSA now requires that a student secure a job offer in order to qualify to apply for a SSN. With this new regulation, you will need to obtain a letter offering you a position before you will be able to apply for the SSN. This may take some negotiating on your part with a prospective employer.
When you go to apply for your number, you will fill out an application form when you arrive. You will then present the application and the following original documents for their review & copy:
- F-1 or J-1 Student’s Name
- Department where employed
- Job description
- Employment start date
- Number of hours per week
- Telephone number of student’s immediate supervisor
- Supervisor’s name
- Supervisor’s original signature
- Supervisor’s title
- Date of letter
- Signature by DSO (International Student Services Coordinator) on letter
It takes approximately 2-3 weeks for the Social Security Administration to issue your SSN and card. However, it sometimes takes much longer. The SSA must verify your student status with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) before issuing you a number. This process can take from 10 days to 12 weeks to complete. Once you have a SSN, you will use the same number throughout your stay in the United States.
Please see below for the nearest SSA office locations.
Directions to the Nearest Social Security Administration Office:
Social Security Administration
5520 Gatlin Avenue, Suite 101
Orlando, FL 32812
Hours of operation are:
8:30a.m. To 3:30p.m., Monday through Friday
(407) 648-6037 Fax