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International Student & Scholar Services

Social Security Number

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:

  • Valid passport
  • F-1 or J-1 visa (if available)
  • Form I-94 (
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019 – be sure to take all I-20s, especially the most recent and the first one issued with the red stamp on it
  • Birth Certificate – if available.  If you do not have it, be sure to state to the agent that you do not have it and it will take you longer than 2 weeks to get it.
  • If you have secured a job on campus:  Letter from Rollins College Human Resources on school letterhead containing the following information:
  1. F-1 or J-1 Student’s Name
  2. Department where employed
  3. Job description
  4. Employment start date
  5. Number of hours per week
  6. EIN
  7. Telephone number of student’s immediate supervisor
  8. Supervisor’s name
  9. Supervisor’s original signature
  10. Supervisor’s title
  11. Date of letter
  12. Signature from OISSS
  • If employment on campus is with an employer other than Rollins College, such as a commercial corporation providing student services on campus, the letter must be on their letterhead AND a separate letter from the International Student Services Coordinator must be requested and presented.
  • If you have been issued CPT authorization for an internship, you should present the I-20 with the CPT authorization on page 3.  No letter from the employer is necessary.
  • If you have been approved for OPT, you must present the EAD card.  No letter from the employer is necessary.

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.

Nearest Social Security Administration Office:

Social Security Administration
5520 Gatlin Avenue, Suite 101
Orlando, FL 32812   
Tel: (407) 648-6109
Fax: (407) 648-6037

Hours of operation are:
8:30a.m. To 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday