Are you ready to fly to the US? You got into a good school, you got a nice scholarship, and you got your bags packed, passport and visa. If you plan to work part-time, do you know that you require an SSN?
In the US, a Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit number given to U.S. citizens, permanent and temporary residents under section 205(c)(2) of the Social Security Act. SSN is issued by the Social Security Administration, a US government agency whose primary principle is to track individuals for Social Security purposes.
When you want to work on campus, you need to contact your designated school official (DSO) to check whether you are eligible to work on campus and may approve certain off-campus work, as allowed under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations. As soon as your school authorizes you to work either on or off campus, you need to check your eligibility to obtain an SSN.
You can wait until you are in the US for at least 10 days before applying for an SSN.
To apply for an SSN:
- Fill Form SS-5
- Provide supporting documents to prove your:
- Immigration status
The filled application and original documents are to be submitted at the local Social Security office.
To prove your immigration status, you should provide the current U.S. immigration document, I-94, Arrival/Departure Record and your I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Students.
As an F-1 student and qualified to work on-campus, you should give a letter from your DSO:
- Identifying you
- Confirming your current school status
- Identifies the employer and the type of work
- Evidence of employment (letter from the employer, signed and dated)
The letter from the employer must detail about:
- Your job
- Your employment start date
- Working hours
- Employer’s name, address and phone number
If you are an F-1 student authorized to work in curricular practical training (CPT), you must give your Form I-20 with the employment page (page 3) completed and signed by your DSO.
If you have a work permit (Form I-766) Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from DHS, you must submit it.
Applications won’t be processed when:
- Your on-campus work or CPT begins 30 days after your application date
- The work start date on your work permit from DHS (Form I-766) is a future date
You can submit your birth certificate or submit your passport or a document provided by DHS, as evidence of your age.
You need to submit your recent photograph and Social Security Administration will need to see your current U.S. immigration documents. Adequate documents comprise:
- Form I-551 and your passport
- Form I-94 and your passport
- Form 1-766 and your work permit card from DHS
All documents should be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency and not photocopies or notarized copies. Avoid submitting receipts of applications.
Usually, SSN is not required before you start work. But, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires employers to report wages using SSN. While you wait for your SSN, you submit a letter from the Social Security Administration to your employer as a proof that you applied for a number. During the mean time your employer can use your immigration documents as proof of your authorization to work in the US.
Hope this article helped you understand how to apply for an SSN.
Also, have you picked the institution of your choice to study in the US? If not, try downloading the prospectuses of US institutions.
All the Best.
Image Source: www.opmsecurity.com