Social Security Number (SSN)
Understanding this identification number
A Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique, permanent identification number used for income tax reporting. F-1 students are not eligible for a social security number unless they have received a job offer and will be participating in authorized employment on-campus, CPT, or OPT.
You do not need a Social Security Number to:
- open a bank account
- obtain a cell phone
- rent an apartment
- obtain an Arizona State Driver’s License or ID card
- use in any other non-tax related purposes
The IRS or any other government agency will not contact people over the phone or via email requesting their social security number. Do not give out your SSN unless you are certain it is for a legitimate purpose. Do not carry your Social Security Card with you–keep it in a secure place.
How to apply for a Social Security Number
If you are eligible to apply for an SSN, you will need to follow these steps:
- Submit the SSN e-form on iNAU
- You will need your employer information (including the employing office/unit and supervisor contact information).
- After you submit your e-form, your employing office can verify your offer of employment.
- Once your employing office verifies your offer of employment, your ISSS advisor will issue a Social Security Support Letter.
- Once you have your Social Security Support Letter you will need to apply for your SSN directly through the Social Security Administration. You will need to take the following documents with you to apply for an SSN:
- completed Application for a Social Security Card (SS-5)
- form I-94
- original I-20
- Social Security Support Letter (from ISSS)
Students may begin work once they have applied for the Social Security Number and taken their receipt to HR. Once the card arrives, sign it and keep it in a safe location.
You will receive a Social Security Card in the mail approximately one to two weeks after applying for it.