A Social Security Number (SSN) is a 9-digit employee identification number, issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). Eligibility for a Social Security Number is based upon a person's eligibility to work in the United States. Those eligible for a Social Security Number include U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and qualified foreign nationals -- including, in certain circumstances, students in F-1 or J-1 student status.
If you are an F-1 or J-1 student and you are interested in applying for a Social Security Number, please read the following information carefully. Please note that application requirements differ, depending on your immigration status.
A Social Security Number (SSN)is required by the U.S. government for tax and employment reporting purposes. It is used, for example, to report an employee's earnings or a student's taxable scholarship benefits. However, it is often used as a matter of convenience for a variety of other purposes unrelated to its official purpose, such as opening telephone, utility, or bank accounts. While having a Social Security Number is convenient for these reasons, SSNs are issued only to those individuals who are employed and/or have tax reporting requirements.
NOTE: simply having a Social Security Number does NOT grant you legal authorization to work in the U.S. However, if you have been granted legal authorization to work and are working, you are required to apply for and obtain a Social Security Number. If you have difficulty opening a bank or other types of accounts because you do not have a Social Security Number, please contact the Office of International Students and Scholards.
F-1 and J-1 students under Teachers College sponsorship may apply for SSNs provided they meet SSA eligibility requirements. These include:
NOTE: Currently the Social Security Administration offices are open by appointment only. In order to apply for a social security number, you must call the Social Security Office and schedule an in-person appointment. If you are scheduling an appointment at the Manhattan location, please call 866-657-3406. If you reside outside of Manhattan, visit the Social Security Office Locator website here to enter your zip code and find a SSA Office located closest to you.
1. Obtain evidence of employment and valid F-1 employment authorization. To apply for a SSN, you must first obtain valid employment authorization. Authorization can be based on one of the following. Make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements for F-1 employment.
2. Submit a Request to the OISS for a SSN Letter. If you are requesting a Social Security Number based on on-campus employment, you must bring your TC or CU department letter to the OISS. The OISS will issue a second letter to confirm that you have secured on-campus employment and that you are a full-time student in good standing.
3. Visit a Social Security Office (see below) to apply for a SSN. Social Security forms are available at SSA offices. No fee is required. Bring your:
The OISS currently recommends that you do not apply for a Social Security Number more than 30 days prior to the start of your on-campus employment, CPT authorization, or the beginning date of your EAD card. The Social Security Administration has rejected applications submitted more than 30 days before the start of employment as too early.
When you submit your application, your documents will be reviewed by a SSA examiner. Once your application is accepted, ask for an application receipt so that you can show your employer that you have applied for a SSN. You can expect to receive your SSN within 4-6 weeks, although processing times vary.
1. Request SSN Letter. If you are a J-1 student under the sponsorship of TC's J-1 exchange visitor program requesting Social Security Number based on on-campus employment, you must submit your TC, CU, or other affiliate department letter to the OISS. The OISS will issue a second letter to confirm that you have secured on-campus employment and that you are a full-time student in good standing.
2. Visit a Social Security Office (see below) to apply for a SSN. Social Security application forms are available at all Social Security offices. No fee is required. Bring your:
When you submit your application, your documents will be reviewed by a SSA examiner. Once your application is accepted, ask for an application receipt. You can expect to receive your SSN within 4-6 weeks, although processing times vary.
SOCIAL SECURITY CARD CENTERS
As of August 13, 2012 if you live or receive mail in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, or Queens, you must go to a Social Security Card Center in order to apply for a social security number or replacement card. Other Social Security field offices located in Manhattan no longer issue social security numbers or replacement cards. You can apply at any of the Social Security Card Centers listed below. You do not need to apply at the card center located in the borough where you live.
If you live or receive mail in Staten Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, or another area, you can either apply at a local office near your place of residence or at any of the Social Security Card Centers listed below:
Manhattan Social Security Center: 123 William Street, 3rd Fl., New York, NY 10038
Take the A / C/ J / Z / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 to Fulton St.
Bronx Social Security Center: 820 Concourse Village West, 2nd Fl., Bronx, NY 10451
Take 4 / D to Yankee Stadium (161 River Ave)
Brooklyn Social Security Center: 154 Pierrepont Street, 6th Fl., Brooklyn, NY 11201
Take 2,3,4,5 To Borough Hall / N,R To Court Street / A,C,F To Jay Street-Metro Tech
Queens Social Security Card Center: 155-10 Jamaica Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11432
Take the E / J to Jamaica
All Social Security Card Centers listed above are open Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m