Social Security

Update! F-1 and J-1 applicants are required to meet individually with a Social Security Administration (SSA) staff member when applying for a SSN because the SSA is required to ask certain questions during the application process. This is true even if you use the oSSNAP system to submit your SSN application electronically. F-1s and J-1s cannot use the document drop off services offered at Social Security, including their document hand-off service or the document drop box.

Social Security

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 an SSN. Students in F-1 or J-1 status who are not currently employed are not eligible to apply for an SSN. F-2 dependents are not eligible for an SSN; J-2 dependents are only eligible if they’ve applied for and received work authorization from USCIS. The SSN is NOT required to obtain an NC State driver’s license or to open a bank account with some financial institutions.

Please note:

New international students/scholars must first attend a scheduled check-in with OIS before applying for an SSN so OIS can activate/validate the SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 record. After check-in OIS recommends the student or scholar to 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).

Additional Application Document Requirements By Visa Type