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Social Security Number

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In the U.S. a Social Security Number is issued to track earnings over a worker’s lifetime. Scholars who are employed in the U.S. must apply for an SSN.  International scholars who are unemployed are ineligible for an SSN.

If you have been previously issued an SSN from a previous time in the U.S., your SSN belongs to you and you do not need to request a new number.

An SSN is not an off-campus employment authorization and an SSN is not required to open a bank account, rent an apartment, start a mobile phone contract or get a credit card.

How to apply for an SSN

01

This site gives good information and a good overview of the process for applying for your SSN including a link to the application form.

02

Your J-1 scholar status allows you to be employed by ASU without applying to USCIS for employment authorization.

03

Print the application form and fill in the application form before you go to the Social Security office.

04

When you go to the Social Security office, take your passport, your form I-94, your form DS-2019 and your completed application form (SS-5).

05

There are two Social Security offices where you can apply for a Social Security Card. The light rail or city bus will take you very close to the downtown Phoenix Social Security office.

06

Card Center information: this link provides addresses and maps for the two Social Security Card Centers in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Do I need a social security number to work in the United States?

Yes. You will need a Social Security Number (SSN) to allow employers to report your earnings to the U.S. government. To save you a trip to the Social Security Office you can now apply for your SSN and card (SSN card) on the same application form you will use to apply for your EAD card, Form I-765.  If USCIS approves your application to work in the U.S. and you completed the section on the application to request an SSN card, then you will receive two documents – your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as the “USCIS I-766 card” or “work permit”, and in another envelope your SSN card.  The SSN card will be mailed to the address you listed on your I-765 application. You should receive your SSN card no later than 7 business days after you receive your EAD from USCIS.

Please see How to Apply for a Social Security Number.

For more information on travel, please read through this document.