Applying for a Social Security Number (F and J students only)
Students entering the US for the first time in F or J student status should wait until you are in the United States for at least 10 days before you apply for a Social Security number. Transfer students from another US school must be registered first for classes and then in SEVIS by ISSS before applying. If your SEVIS record is not "active" the Social Security office will not be able to verify your status with the USCIS.
To be eligible for to apply for a social security number you must
- Have employment
- Obtain the ISSS Social Security Letter - the letter must be completed by your current employer
- The letter must be printed on your employer's letterhead
- Bring the letter to the ISSS during walk-in hours for a signature
Once you've obtained the letter from the ISSS, you can submit your application to the Office of Social Security. You must apply in person.
- Complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5). You must bring your original passport, I-20/DS-2019 and I-94 card.
- Take your completed application and original documents to your local Social Security officelocated at
2 PENN CTR STE 2000A
1500 JFK BLVD 20TH FL
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19102
- To prove your immigration status, you must show us:
- I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, issued to you when you arrived in the United States.
- I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status (F1 Visa Holders)
- DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. (J1 Visa Holders)
- Letter from Social Security Letter which has been signed by your supervisor as well as an International Student Advisor
After submitting your application, be sure to obtain a receipt to prove that you have applied. You should receive the SSN card within one to two months.
You will need to speak with Human Resources in order to use the receipt from Social Security to begin receiving payments from Temple. Once you receive the actual Social Security card you will need to contact HR again so that they can change the temporary SS# to your actual Social Security number.
If you do not receive the card within 60 days, return to the Social Security office to inquire or call the toll-free (800) phone number below. Do NOT apply for a second card; you should have only one SSN in your lifetime. If you continue to experience difficulties obtaining the card, contact ISSS
Although the SSN will be requested during many daily activities such as banking, utilities, phones, etc., it is only required for employment. For purposes other than employment, ask the service provider about acceptable alternative ID numbers.