How to Apply for a Social Security Number
Social Security Number (SSN) Application Steps
for F-1, J-1, and J-2 status:
- Read When to Apply for an SSN before submitting your application.
- Collect the required forms and documentation (see table below).
- Complete a Social Security Application Form SS-5.
- Submit the application and the required documents in person at the Social Security Administration's office. Request a verification receipt of your application.
- Wait approximately two weeks for the Social Security card to arrive in the mail.
- Present the Social Security card to employer for review.
- Store the original Social Security card in a safe place. Do not carry it with you.
F-1 (OPT) Students
J-1 (AT) Students
|I-94 record or passport admission stamp||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|I-20 (If on OPT/CPT, present the OPT/CPT I-20)||X||X|
| Employment Letter (see below)
|Employment or Fellowship Authorization (see below)||X|
| Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Employment Letters or Authorization
for Social Security Numbers
F-1 On-Campus Employment Letter
Ask your on-campus employer to write a letter using this Employer's Letter [doc] template. Bring this letter to Berkeley International Office for an Advisor's approval before going to the Social Security Administration office.
F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Off-campus employment letters do NOT require Berkeley International Office approval. Obtain an offer letter from your CPT employer (this letter does not need to follow the sample).
J-1 On-Campus Employment and Fellowship Authorization
Obtain employment or fellowship authorization from your J-1 visa sponsor (DS-2019 issuing entity). UC Berkeley-sponsored students can obtain On-Campus Employment or Fellowship Authorization from Berkeley International Office.
J-1 Academic Training (AT)
Off-campus employment letters do NOT require Berkeley International Office Advisors' approval. Obtain the employment letter from your AT employer (this letter does not need to follow the sample).