How to Apply for a Social Security Number
Follow these steps to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) if in F-1, J-1 or J-2 status:
- Collect the required forms and documentation (see table below).
- Complete a Social Security Application Form SS-5 before visiting the Social Security Administration Office.
- Submit the application in person at the Social Security Administration's office with the required documents. 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.
- Keep original Social Security card for records and in a safe place.
Please note: The Social Security Administration cannot process an application if:
- On-campus or F-1 Curricular Practical Training work begins more than 30 days from the application date; or
- The employment start date on the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a future date.
- Student has failed to check in with Berkeley International Office in the first semester.
F-1 (OPT) Students
|Paper I-94 or passport admission stamp||X||X||X||X||X|
|I-20 (If on OPT/CPT, present the OPT/CPT I-20)||X||X|
| Employer's Letter (see below)
|Employment or Fellowship Authorization (see below)||X|
| EAD Card
F-1 Student Employer's Letter
- F-1 Students Working On Campus:
Present a job offer letter from the employer along with all other documents. Ask the on-campus employer to write the letter. They may download the 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 Students on OPT/CPT:
Obtain the letter from your OPT/CPT employer. Off-campus employer's letters do NOT require Berkeley International Office Advisers' approval.
J-1 Student Employment and Fellowship Authorization
Obtain employment or fellowship authorization from the J sponsor (DS-2019 issuing entity) to apply for a Social Security Number. UC Berkeley-sponsored students can obtain On-Campus Employment or Fellowship authorization from Berkeley International Office if working or receiving a Fellowship within thirty days by following the procedures listed at J-1 On-Campus Work Authorization.