How to Apply for a Social Security Number

COVID-19 Pandemic and SSN Applications

In-person services at the Social Security Administration have been suspended. You may wish to call the Berkeley SSA at (877) 531-4696 to inquire about the possibility of making an appointment to apply for your SSN. F-1 students should be aware that, based on our observations, only original I-20s (not print-outs of scanned/digital I-20s) are being accepted for SSN applications.

Social Security Number (SSN) Application Steps
for F-1, J-1, and J-2 status:

  1. Read When to Apply for an SSN before submitting your application.
  2. Complete and print out Social Security Application Form SS-5.
  3. Collect the additional required forms and documentation (see table below).
  4. Submit the application and the required documents in person at the Social Security Administration's office. Request a verification receipt of your application.
  5. Wait approximately two weeks for the Social Security card to arrive in the mail.
  6. Present the Social Security card to employer for review.
  7. Store the original Social Security card in a safe place. Do not carry it with you.

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Social Security Administration

 2045 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
(near downtown Berkeley BART station)

Click here for open hours