Section: ISSS

Applying for a Social Security Number

Student Working on Application

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Before applying for a social security number, F-1 students must have been in the U.S. for at least 10 days and they must have reported to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office at their school to activate their student status in SEVIS. Before applying for a social security number, you must have a job offer.

Instructions for Applying for a Social Security Number

Please click on the link at the right for a printable guide with instructions for applying for a social security number.

1. Obtain a letter signed by your supervisor (printed on department letterhead) indicating:

  • Verification that you have a job offer & description of employment
  • The start date of employment
  • The number of hours per week you are or will be working
  • Name and telephone number of your supervisor

2. Complete the SS-5 form, which is available online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf. If possible, type your responses before printing the form.

3. Set up an appointment with the International Student and Scholar Services Office. Bring the SS-5 form and the job offer letter from your supervisor to the ISSS Office in Royce Hall.

4. Receive a letter of verification from the ISSS Office, OR, if you are a sponsored J-1 student, a letter (which authorizes your employment) from your sponsor with an original signature on sponsor letterhead.

5. Travel to the Social Security Administration office in Lancaster, Wisconsin (175 W Alona Lane) to apply for your social security number. Lancaster is about 20 miles from Platteville.  The office is only open on weekdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Allow 60-90 minutes for your appointment, including travel to and from Platteville. You must show the following documents to complete an application:

  • Valid Passport
  • Print-out of your I-94 (available at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html)
  • Valid I-20 or DS-2019
  • One other piece of identification - student ID card, driver's license, etc.
  • Job offer letter (unless you have an EAD card)
  • Letter from ISSS Office or  J-1 program sponsor verifying employment
  • SS-5 Form

Only students working ON CAMPUS must follow steps 6-8 below:

You must bring the following to all of your appointments to fill out paperwork on campus:

  • Passport/Visa
  • I-94 printout
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • Student ID Card
  • A letter from your supervisor(see step 1 above)

6. Go to the Financial Aid Office (204 Brigham) and fill out the Form I-9 and the Student Work Authorization Form. Request to take the original copy of the Student Work Authorization form and bring it to Payroll after you get your social security card.

7. Give the Work Authorization Form to your supervisor to fill out and sign.

8. Go to Payroll in the Human Resources office (2300 Ullsvik). Ask Payroll (Tina Olsterholz) to write a letter that includes the verification that you have secured an on-campus job, your start date, and the number of hours per week you are or will be working.

Depending on the type of employment for which you have been authorized, you will need to bring the following documents to the Social Security Administration office:

On-Campus Employment

You must submit all the documents listed in step 5.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

You must submit the original I-20 with the CPT authorization noted on page 3, in addition to all of the documents listed in step 5.  Do not apply for a social security number more than 30 days prior to your CPT start date. If you do so, your social security number application may be delayed or denied.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

You must submit the Employment Authorization Card (EAD card) and the original I-20 with the OPT authorization noted on page 3, in addition to all of the documents listed in step 5. You do not need to submit a job offer letter or proof of employment.

If you are applying for a social security card because you will be engaging in OPT, do not apply for a social security number until AFTER your OPT start date and AFTER you have received your EAD card in the mail, or else your social security number application may be delayed or denied.

Receiving Your Social Security Card

When you receive your social security card in the mail (usually 2-3 weeks after you apply), you must report to the Payroll office and the Financial Aid office if you will be working on campus so that they can make a copy of your social security card. When you visit Payroll, you will need to give them the original Work Authorization Form and your banking information, in addition to bringing your social security card. Please notify the ISSS office when you receive your social security card.

NOTE: Keep your social security card in a safe place; do NOT carry it in your wallet or backpack.

 

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