If you are going to obtain a job while in the US, you must acquire a Social Security Number (SSN). You cannot get an SSN without a valid job offer and OIP authorization. Remember, all off-campus work requires prior authorization per federal visa regulations. Click here for complete SSN application instructions.


To obtain an SSN:

  1. Request a job offer letter from your prospective employer. This letter should include your name, start date, number of hours per week and a brief job description. It should also include the employer's physical address (not a PO Box or web address).
  2. Complete any necessary CPT, OPT or Academic Training paperwork with the help of your academic advisor (off-campus jobs only).
  3. Drop off your job offer letter and any forms for off-campus work at the Office of International Programs. The International Student Advisor will review your documents and provide you with a letter of support. The advisor will also provide you with an updated I-20 or DS-2019 if necessary. Please allow 3-5 days for processing.
  4. Fill out an Application for a Social Security Card.
  5. Gather the following documents: 
    • Application for a Social Security Card
    • Passport and I-94 number
    • Another form of photo identification (e.g., SOU ID card)
    • Most recent I-20 or DS-2019
    • Proof of address (e.g., bank statement, envelope mailed to you)
    • Letter of support from International Student Advisor
  1. Visit the Social Security Administration office and submit all documents listed above. The SSA is open Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm. The office is located at 3501 Excel Drive in Medford. Please put aside several hours for your trip, as lines can be long. Be sure to request a receipt for your application. You will usually receive your Social Security card in the mail within a few weeks.