Students and Scholars that are employed in the U.S. need to obtain a Social Security Number to receive payment for their work.  The Social Security application is processed by the Social Security Administration. It typically takes about two to six weeks for the application to be processed once it is submitted to the SSA office. People that do not work in the U.S. are not eligible to apply for a Social Security number. UFIC can provide basic guidance to students and scholars to facilitate a smooth application process, but please be aware that UFIC does not make decisions regarding the issuance of a Social Security Number.

To find your local SSA office, please visit

Students and the SSN application process

Students who receive an Assistantship, a Fellowship, an on-campus employment offer, or a paid internship offer that requires CPT authorization are all eligible to apply for a Social Security number. The applicant should assemble the following materials:

  • Valid I-20 or DS-2019
  • Valid Passport, that contains the F1 or J1/J2 visa stamp
  • (Note: Canadian citizens need not have an F1 or J1/J2 visa in the passport)
  • Printout of I-94 Record
  • Completed SSN Application form (obtained from the Social Security Administration website)
  • Employment Offer Letter (from the hiring department when UF is the employer; from the hiring company for paid internships)
  • SSN Student Verification Letter (from UFIC)
  • (Note: please bring the original employment offer letter to UFIC to request the UFIC Verification Letter. Please read ALL of the below information required for the employment offer letter.)

The Social Security Administration has specific requirements for the information the Employment Offer Letter must contain. The letter must:

  • Be an original letter on employer letterhead, signed and dated by the supervisor/HR representative (no digital or photo copies are accepted)
  • Include the Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax purposes
  • Include a current date, the prospective employee’s Given and Family/Surname
  • Provide the prospective employee’s position/job title, the start date and end date (if known), and number of hours expected to work per week
  • Include the supervisor’s name, title, and telephone number

Additionally, for Off-Campus employment (such as paid internships):

  • Provide the exact physical address (street, suite # if any, city, state, and zip/postal code) of where the work will be conducted
  • Provide a general description of the work duties (if the company does not include the duties in the offer letter, an addendum to the offer letter must be provided)

Once the application is processed, and the applicant receives the SSN card, the card must be presented to the employing department (if within UF) or the company (if paid internship) for completion of the payroll process. Once the SSN number is issued, the same number will remain associated with the person even if the visa category changes at a later time. In the event the SSN card is lost, the applicant will need to apply for a new SSN card following the same process outlined above.