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Obtaining a Social Security Card

In most cases, before an international student can obtain a Social Security number, they must have an offer of employment. Once an offer of employment has been made, please follow these steps:

  1. Obtain an offer letter from your employer. The type of offer letter you need will depend on whether the employment is on or off campus.
    1. If the employment is on campus: The department offering the position should provide the student with a written offer of employment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires specific information, therefore, we advise using the format specified in the International Student Employment Verification Letter
    2. If the employment is off campus: Please work with your employer using the Off-Campus Employment Offer Letter Template to create an offer letter that meets the Social Security Administration’s requirements.
  2. Download a copy of your latest I-94 Entry Record. The I-94 can be obtained on the Customs and Border Protection website. 
  3. Request a Personalized Link to the Employment Eligibility Verification (EEV) Letter request form. After your request is received, you will be sent a link to a webform that will allow you to upload the documents from stem 1 and 2. Once your form and attachments are received, an advisor will create your EEV letter and notify you by email when it is ready to collect at the Office of International Education.
  4. Complete and submit the Social Security application: https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/
  5. Take the following items to the Social Security Administration:
  • Original employment offer letter from a campus department
  • Original Employment Eligibility Verification prepared by International Education
  • Continued Attendance I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 with work authorization (for J-1 students)
  • Valid passport and I-94
Note for F-1 students: Students applying for a Social Security card after being approved for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization will need to have an I-20 reflecting that CPT authorization when visiting the SSA. Students applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT) have the option of requesting a SSN when filing the Form I-765 and do not need a job offer or Employment Eligibility Verification.

It is recommended that you wait at least 10 days after entering the U.S. to apply for a Social Security card.

The local Social Security Administration office is located at 3216 N Cypress Street, Wichita, Kansas 67226. For office hours and additional information, visit: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/.