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. When you initially call their office, you will be asked to leave your contact information and you will receive a call back within one week to schedule your appointment. Please note that the SSA does NOT leave a voicemail if they call you and are unable to reach you.

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