Social Security

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.

Although the Social Security Administration office in North Raleigh remains closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic, first-time applicants can call the Raleigh office to be scheduled for an appointment to apply for their Social Security number.

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 Requirements By Visa Type