New Student Special: How to get an SSN

IMG_5861It’s believed that you have a preliminary understanding of the importance of SSN (Social Security Number) after reading several relevant articles that have been posted. Although you can apply for some credit cards and earn credit record without an SSN, you cannot apply for quite a few banks without an SSN. After all, it will be more convenient to have an SSN. Therefore, it’s better to have an SSN for those who want to use credit cards.

For the Students newly arrived in the U.S., the fastest way to obtain an SSN is to find a part-time job on campus. Any job that can offer you money is OK! That’s the key of applying for an SSN.

In fact, the school will certainly urge you to apply for an SSN after you find a job. Because your SSN information is necessary as they want to put you into the payroll system, otherwise it can’t be operated. Hence, if you really desire an SSN, find a part-time job right now and the rest will follow!

Nevertheless I would like to explain the procedure to apply for an SSN. For the international students with F-1 visa, the core materials needed for the application are:

  • an offer letter to prove you are employed on campus
  • a proof of identification: passport, I-20 form and I-94 Arrival record
  • a fully completed SSN application form

1. Find an On-Campus Job

Any work that can pay you money is fine. The most common jobs are Teaching Assistant (TA) and Researching Assistant (RA), other jobs like working in the canteen or library would also be OK. Take the step as early as possible. Take it as an opportunity to train yourself if you are shy, and the brave one will be more promising in the U.S.

 After you’re employed, take your offer letter to the International Student Office of your school and if you say: “I want an SSN, go and get me one!” to the staff, you are so dead, hahaha! Generally, you tell the staff that you want to apply for an SSN with an offer letter and they will offer you a list of required materials proficiently, some might even teach you to fill in the SSN application form on the spot, just follow their instructions. 

2. Prepare materials

The International Students Office will definitely offer you a material list. You can also check it again compared with the listed core materials and make sure the material and information are accurate.

3. Go to the Social Security Administration

Bring the materials you have prepared to your local SSA office. Queue up, take the number, and go through the procedures. Then you can wait to receive the Social Security Card assigned by the SSA.

Attention Please: before the final submission of the application, the staff will give you a piece of white list with your personal information on it, including name, birthday, address, etc. Make sure to confirm all the information on the list is correct, otherwise you have to go to the SSA and go through the procedures again!

4. Things After Receiving Your SSN

Again, please check the correctness of your information and then sign on the SSN Card. Since then try to keep your SSN Card at home. Besides, the most important is to keep your SSN in mind. There are so many conditions, such as filling the credit card application form and calling to someone, where you need to use the number as a means of verifying your identification. You will feel embarrassed if you cannot remember it.

Finally wish you obtain your SSN successfully and enjoy the credit card game!


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