Applying for a Social Security Number

In order to legally work in the USA, F-1 students must obtain a Social Security Number (SSN).

An SSN is a 9-digit employee identification number, issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). Eligibility for a Social Security Number is based upon a person’s eligibility to work in the United States. Those eligible for a Social Security Number include, in certain circumstances, students in F-1 student status.

If you are an F-1 student and you are interested in applying for a Social Security Number, read the following information carefully and follow the outlined application process.

You must be hired for an on-campus job BEFORE you can apply for a SSN.

Process for Getting an On Campus Job and SSN

1. Prepare to apply

Prepare your resume and cover letter by utilizing the Career Services resources. Schedule an appointment with Barbara Watts for feedback on your materials before applying.

2. Apply for jobs

Apply for on-campus student employment. Depending on the job you are applying for, this could take several weeks to obtain a position and/or note that at times, no positions may be available. Check back every few weeks.

3. You’re hired!

Congratulations! If you are offered a position at Sweet Briar, the hiring manager will email your DSO and HR with your “intent to hire” form. Your DSO will set up an SSN appointment on your behalf. It generally takes 1-2 weeks from the date an appointment is requested to have an appointment.

4. Attend the SSN Appointment

Attend your SSN appointment, bringing all required ORIGINAL documents which include:

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid I-20
  • I-94 (Scroll down & Click “Get Most Recent I-94”. Enter your info, hit submit, and print)
  • A letter of employment from your DSO.

If approved for an SSN, you will be provided a SSN receipt. It will take ~7-10 days to receive your SSN via mail. Check your mailbox daily!

5. Onboarding with HR

After the appointment, email HR a copy of your SSN receipt. HR will respond to your email and request to set up an onboarding appointment ~10 days after your SSN appointment.

On the date of your onboarding appointment, bring all of your important documents including passport, I-20, I-94 and SSN card.

F-1 students may NOT work more than 20 hours per week on campus during the semester!