How to Apply for a Social Security Number
Follow these steps to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) if you have 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 in advance of your visit to the office.
- Submit your 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 your Social Security card to arrive in the mail.
- Present your Social Security card to employer for review.
- Keep original Social Security card for your records.
Please note: The Social Security Administration cannot process your application if:
- Your on-campus or F-1 Curricular Practical Training work begins more than 30 days from your application date; or
- The employment start date on your EAD Form I-766 or I-688B is a future date.
- You failed to check in with Berkeley International Office in your first semester.
F-1 (OPT) Students
|Paper I-94 or passport admission stamp||X||X||X||X||X|
|I-20 (If you are on OPT/CPT, present your 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 your on-campus employer to write the letter for you. Bring this letter to Berkeley International Office for an Adviser's approval before going to the Social Security Administration office. You can also download the Employer's Letter [doc] template.
- 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 your employment or fellowship authorization from your 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 they are working or receiving a fellowship within the next thirty days by following the procedures listed at J-1 On-Campus Work Authorization.