Social Security Number

All international students who have been offered employment must obtain a Social Security number. A Social Security number allows the United States Government to monitor wages earned by employees in the United States.

Please note that a social security number does not grant you authorization to work in the United States. You must always follow the employment guidelines for your particular visa classification.


All students who apply for a social security number must be physically present in the United States in an immigration classification that permits employment.

F-1 students must meet one of the following criteria to obtain a Social Security Card

  • You must have been offered on-campus employment
  • You have obtained permission for Curricular Practical
  • You have been granted Optional Practical Training employment authorization and have received your Employment Authorization Document
  • You have granted Economic Hardship employment authorization, obtained your Employment Authorization Document, and been offered employment

J-1 students must meet one of the following criteria to obtain a Social Security Card

  • You have been offered an on-campus job
  • After completion of your program and been offered Academic Training Authorization
  • If you are sponsored by an outside organization, such as IREX, you will need to consult the sponsoring organization in regard to eligibility
Steps for obtaining a Social Security Card
  1. Obtain employment or be approved for Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  2. Request a letter from your employer indicating your name, the title of your position, the start date of your employment, and your employer contact information.
  3. Complete the Office of International Education’s Social Security Request form
  4. Turn in the letter and Social Security Request Form to the Office of International Education
  5. You will receive an enrollment verification letter two to four days later from the Office of International Education. Please note that this letter cannot be processed until you have registered for classes.
  6. Bring your enrollment verification, employment letter, passport, I-20 or DS-2019, and original I-94 card to the nearest social security office. The Green Bay Social Security Office is located at 1561 Dousman Street, Green Bay, 920-433-3904.
  7. Once at the Social Security Office, you will need to fill out for SS-5, you can also fill out the form in advance here
Receiving your Social Security Card

Once you have applied for a Social Security Number, the Social Security Administration will verify your eligibility. Once approved, they will mail your card to the address that you provide on your application within 14 business days. If a card has not been received within 30 days of application, please contact the Social Security Administration.

All international students should receive a card that has the notation, “Valid for Employment Only with INS Authorization.” This notation means that you must meet the employment authorization of your particular visa classification before you can start employment.