A Social Security number (SSn) is a number issued by the U.S. Federal government for tax purposes. All students and scholars who are currently employed are required to apply for a SSn. Students in F-1 or J-1 status who are not currently employed are not eligible to apply for a SSn. F-2 dependents are not eligible for a SSn; J-2 dependents are only eligible if they've applied for and received work authorization from USCIS and have a current offer of employment. The SSn is NOT required to obtain an NC State driver's license or to open a bank account with some financial institutions (including the Wachovia branch located across from NC State campus at 2600 Hillsborough St. and also the Bank of America on Oberlin St.).
In order to take a look at our brief online tutorial to learn everything you need to know about applying for a SSN, click below:
Social Security Online Tutorial
New international students/scholars must first attend a scheduled check-in with OIS before applying for a SSn so OIS can activate/validate the SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 record; after check-in OIS recommends the student or scholar wait at least five days before applying for the SSn. OIS also recommends that new students/scholars wait 10 days after arrival to the U.S. before applying since the Social Security Administration must confirm the port-of-entry details posted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the port of entry (there is a delay of up to 10 days for that interface to occur).
Students or scholars in F-1 or J-1 status will need to collect the following documentation to apply for a SSn:
- passport and visa
- I-94 card
- I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students/scholars)
- a completed application for a SSn
- An offer letter confirming employment. The Social Security Administration requires that the offer letter:
o Have an original hand signed ink signature by the hiring official (electronic, stamped or copied signatures will not be accepted by the Social Security Administration)
o Be on departmental letterhead
- o Include the job title
- o Include the employment start Date
- o Include the work location
- o Include the salary
If the offer letter does not follow the prescribed requirements, it is the responsibility of the student to request a new letter from the hiring department/office prior to the SSA visit to campus.
The Social Security Administration requires you apply in person. The address of the closest Social Security Administration office to NCSU is 4701 Old Wake Forest Road, Raleigh NC 27609. Their phone number is 800.772.1213 or 919.790.2782 and the office hours are Monday through Friday 9 AM to 4:30 PM. Please find detailed directions here.
Once the application is received and approved, the Social Security card is mailed to the applicant's address 3-4 weeks after the application is accepted.
To see the International Students And Social Security Numbers Electronic Fact Sheet click here.