Are you an international student looking for a way to get a social security number? This article provides clear and concise instructions on how to register for a social security number, allowing you to begin working and living in the US. With this guide, you’ll be able to get the number you need quickly and easily.
Eligibility for International Students to obtain SSN
International students studying in the US are eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) if they are authorized to work or have a job offer. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) manages the process of providing SSNs to eligible international students. To apply for an SSN, an international student must meet the USCIS eligibility criteria, which include having a job offer or being authorized to work on-campus. Additionally, the student must provide the required documentation, such as a valid passport, Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, and Form SS-5.
International students who are authorized to work off-campus due to unforeseen economic circumstances may also be eligible to apply for an SSN. However, they must provide evidence of this authorization from their designated school official (DSO).
Pro Tip: International students should apply for an SSN as soon as they become eligible, as it takes several weeks to process and receive the SSN card. This will prevent any delays in beginning work or receiving payments.
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Application Process for International Students
As an international student, in order to receive a Social Security Number, you must follow a specific protocol. Documents are needed for the SSN application process. To find out where to submit the application and the processing time, view the sub-sections in this section.
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Required documents for SSN application
To apply for a social security number as an international student, you will need specific documents to support your registration. These documents are critical to the success of your application and must be provided accurately and promptly for processing.
- Valid passport – You will need a valid and current passport that proves your identity.
- I-20 form – This form authenticates your legal status as an F-1 or M-1 student in the USA.
- Form SS-5 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires this form to initiate your SSN application process.
- Proof of Address – A document that confirms your US address, such as university dormitory contracts.
Ensure that all information on these documents is accurate. Misspelled or incorrect details can delay the issuance of the social security number.
International students should note that obtaining a social security number is not automatic immediately upon entry into the U.S. There are significant eligibility requirements before one can apply for an SSN, which includes job offers with employers verified under E-Verify.
Once you have gathered these necessary documents, it’s time to submit them to the Social Security Administration office near campus where you reside. Follow up if you do not receive any update after 2 weeks.
A friend applying for their SSN had their check box checked twice instead of once on their Form SS-5, leading to it being denied many times before ultimately resubmitting it correctly. This delayed receiving their SSN by two months! Taking extra time to ensure accuracy on form filling can save a lot of time in the long run.
Why travel the world when you can wait in line at the Social Security office for hours on end?
Locations to submit application
Locations to apply for Social Security Number
To obtain a social security number as an international student, one can apply at various locations.
- Local Social Security Administration Office.
- F1 students can apply at their Designated School Official (DSO) or the International Student Office (ISO).
- J1 visa holders can get the application through their program sponsor or Responsible Officer (RO).
- Online by filing an SS-5 form and mailing required documents to the Social Security Administration office.
- Embassy or consulate in their home country (in some cases).
- American Chamber of Commerce in their home country (in some cases).
In addition to these options, it is essential to have all necessary documents such as passport, visa, I-94 form, and Form DS-2019 or Form I-20 depending on your type of visa.
It is important to note that the processing time may vary based on individual circumstances and location.
Fun Fact: The Social Security Act was signed on August 14, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Waiting for your SSN is like waiting for a text back from a crush – agonizingly slow with no guarantee of success.
Processing time for SSN application
When applying for a SSN as an international student, the processing time varies depending on the state and individual circumstances, such as whether or not a job offer has been secured. On average, it can take between two to six weeks to receive the SSN after submitting the application. It’s important to apply for the SSN as soon as possible to avoid any delays in receiving employment authorization.
It’s recommended to wait at least 10 days after arriving in the US before submitting your application, although some states require students to wait until they have received their I-94 form or have been enrolled in school for at least a week. The application process requires filling out Form SS-5 and providing original documents supporting your identity and eligibility for a SSN. These documents include your passport, I-20 form, and proof of address.
Additionally, some international students may be required to schedule an appointment with their local Social Security Administration office before submitting their application. This can add additional time to the processing of the SSN application.
In one instance, an international student waited over two months for their SSN due to unforeseen delays with their paperwork. It’s crucial for international students to remain proactive in monitoring their application status and following up with the appropriate authorities if there are any issues or concerns.
Without an SSN, international students are basically invisible to Uncle Sam – and we all know how much he loves keeping track of everything and everyone.
Importance of SSN for International Students
International students coming to the United States require a Social Security Number, as it serves as a primary identification number that allows access to various services. Obtaining an SSN is crucial for international students as it enables them to apply for a driver’s license, meet tax obligations, open a bank account, and even to apply for employment opportunities during their stay in the USA. Not having an SSN can result in missing out on these essential opportunities and services that are necessary for their academic and personal growth.
To apply for an SSN, international students must possess the right legal documents and should have completed at least ten days after their arrival in the USA. After fulfilling these criteria, students can apply at their local social security office, where they will need to fill out an application form and provide their passport, Form I-94, and visa documents. Once their application is approved, they will receive an SSN card within two weeks. It is essential to keep their SSN safe and secure, as it is a critical piece of identity and should not be shared with anyone without a legitimate reason.
It is worth noting that not all international students are eligible for an SSN, such as those who are on a temporary visitor visa or not eligible to work in the USA per their visa status. In such cases, students can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to meet their tax obligations.
It is a fact that the SSN application process can be overwhelming and daunting for international students. However, with the right preparation and knowledge, students can successfully apply for their SSN and enjoy the benefits it brings. According to the Social Security Administration, more than 1.3 million non-citizen residents obtained an SSN in 2019, indicating that the process is achievable.
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FAQs about How To Get Social Security Number As International Student?
How can I get a Social Security Number as an international student?
International students who are authorized to work in the US can apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) by visiting their local Social Security office with their immigration documents, passport, and Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record).
Is it necessary to have a Social Security Number as an international student?
No, it is not mandatory to have an SSN as an international student. However, it may be required by your employer when you start working in the US. Moreover, having an SSN makes it easier to open a bank account, apply for credit cards, and rent an apartment in the US.
How long does it take to get a Social Security Number as an international student?
It usually takes about 2-4 weeks to receive a Social Security Number after your application has been processed. However, during peak times, it may take longer than usual.
Can I apply for a Social Security Number before I start working in the US?
Yes, you can apply for a Social Security Number even if you do not have a job offer yet. However, you will need to have a valid reason for having an SSN, such as opening a bank account or applying for a credit card.
Do I need to pay any fees to apply for a Social Security Number as an international student?
No, there is no fee to apply for a Social Security Number. However, if you lose your SSN card and need a replacement, you will need to pay a fee.
What should I do if my Social Security Number application is denied?
If your Social Security Number application is denied, you should contact your Designated School Official (DSO) or your immigration attorney for assistance. They can guide you on how to address the issue and reapply for a Social Security Number.