Banks and credit card companies also ask for your number. The number is provided free of charge by you local Social Security Office.
Students on F-1 visa are required to show proof of an on-campus or off-campus job offer in order to be allowed to apply for a SSN.
It is the duty of the Designated Student Officer (DSO - normally attached to the international student office) to determine whether you may work on-campus and in some cases, off-campus.
Graduate students will normally get work on campus as tutorial fellows or research assistants.
Most DSO’s are reluctant to allow undergraduate students to work.
If the DSO in conjunction with the Department of Homeland security (DHS) allows you to work, you can obtain a SSN.
When you get permission to work from the DHS and DSO, you then need to fill an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5). You can get the form from your local Social Security Office.
Take the filled out form to the Social Security Office together with original documents proving your:
If you are an F-1 or M-1 student and are authorized to work off campus, you will need to provide the Employment Authorization Document (I-766 or I-688B) you received from DHS.
The Social Security Office will issue you with a letter indicating you have applied for a SSN.
You can use the letter to start working while you wait for your number.
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