Eligibility

Eligible Visa Types

J-1, H-1B, TN and O-1 status individuals are all eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). Certain individuals in J-2 status who have applied for and received an Employment Authorization Document may also apply for an SSN.

F-1 students should apply for an SSN if they have one of the following:

  • Evidence of a job on campus, and a letter confirming this from the supervisor, counter-signed by OVIS international advisor
     
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization endorsement on page 2 of the Form I-20.
     
  • Valid Employment Authorization Document, with current start date

Ineligible Visa Types

Individuals in F-2, H-4, TD or O-3 status will not be issued Social Security numbers. F-1 students who are not working on- or off-campus are also not eligible for a U.S. SSN.

Ineligibility letter

If you do not have authorized employment, then you are not eligible for a Social Security Number. Social Security will issue a letter confirming you are not eligible, which you can use as part of your application for a driver's license. F-1 students seeking an ineligibility letter should send a completed packet below to the Social Security Office in Concord, NH. The Social Security Office will be able to issue the letter without the need for an in-person appointment.

Completed SS-5 form

  *Write clearly on the top of the SS-5 form "not work authorized".

Photocopies of immigration documents:

  • Passport (photo ID page with expiration date)
  • Form I-20
  • F-1 visa stamp
  • Most recent I-94 arrival record

International Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

The International Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is issued for individuals who are not eligible for an SSN. Dependent family members who are not work-authorized may need an ITIN for U.S. tax filings.

Download the ITIN application form and instructions.