Students and Scholars who are employed in the U.S. need to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) to receive payment for their work, unless you already have a SSN.  The Social Security application is processed and approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It typically takes about two weeks for the card to be mailed to you, once the application is submitted to the SSA office. People who 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: https://www.ssa.gov/locator/

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:

All students will answer YES to question #1 and #4 with the following information below in remarks:

#1 – Enter the date you arrived (you are currently living in the US

#4 – As an F1 student I am eligible to work

Questions #2 and #3 will depend on each student’s individual experience and should only be answered yes if it pertains to your specific situation.  Otherwise, answer NO to #2 and #3.

  • Employment Offer Letter (from the hiring department, when UF is the employer for assistantships; from the hiring company for paid internships or on campus employment.) ** see SSA requirements below for this letter**
  • Please email all of the above listed documents to Debra Anderson at (danderson@ufic.ufl.edu). Please be sure to include all the attachments in the same email.  Put Social Security Application in the subject line of your email so that it is easily identifiable.  In the body of your email, provide your full name and UFID.
  • Once she receives your email, she will print/copy what you will need to take to the SSA office.  When she has completed your copies, she will contact the SSN office to request an appointment for you to come to their office to apply.  
  • When Debra confirms your appointment time with the SSA office, she will email you to come to the UFIC office to pick up your copies and your UFIC authorization letter.  Please watch for this email as the appointments are sometimes set for as soon as the next day after she contacts the SSA office. You will need to take all of the original documents plus all the copies Debra provides to the SSA appointment for application.
  • You can go to UFIC between the hours of 10am and 2pm only, for document pick up.
  • SSN Student Authorization Letter (from UFIC)  
  • If you are a new student with a new assistantship/fellowship, complete all check in requirements. Your authorization letter will be provided with your CA I-20 .
  • For paid internships, complete the CPT work authorization process on line. Your authorization letter will be provided with your CPT I-20.
  • For on campus employment your letter will be provided when you are notified to pick up your copies.

Finally, please be aware you may only apply for the SSN within 30 days of the employment start date. 

If you have any questions about this adapted SSN application process, please direct your inquiry to Ms. Debra Anderson (danderson@ufic.ufl.edu).

**The Social Security Administration has specific requirements for the Employment Offer Letter.

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

Your SSN card will be US Postal Service mailed to the address you provide. It is a heavy paper card, NOT a plastic card, which can be easily overlooked or lost. Please keep it in a safe place.

The card must be presented to the employing department (if within UF) or the company (if paid internship) for completion of the payroll process. You do not need to present your card to UFIC.

Once the SSN number is issued, the same number will remain associated with the person even if the employer or 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.

Requirements and Process for Obtaining a Social Security Number

  • You must have an assistantship appointment, paid job offer or paid internship requiring CPT authorization, in order to apply for an SSN.
  • You may only apply for the SSN within 30 days of the employment start date

Process for Applying for Social Security Number

Send the following documents along with your UFID, to Debra Anderson at danderson@ufic.ufl.edu, with SUBJECT: Social Security Application:

  1. Continued Attendance (CA) I-20
    1. New Students will receive the CA I-20 after check-in is completed
    2. Paid Internships – Send I-20 with CPT authorization on page 2
    3. On-campus employment- CA I-20
  2. Valid Passport, with F1 visa.  Canadian citizens may not have the F1 visa
  3. Printout of I-94 Record (not the history) – most recent entry to the US:  https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94#/home
  4. Completed SS-5 Application Form: https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf
  5. Complete SSA Questionnaire for non-citizens.  Will be attached to email from Debra Anderson.
    1. All students will answer YES to question #1 and #4 with the following information below in remarks:
      1. #1 – Enter the date you arrived (you are currently living in the US
      2. #4 – As an F1 student I am eligible to work
    2. Questions #2 and #3 will depend on each student’s individual experience and should only be answered yes if it pertains to your specific situation.  Otherwise, answer NO to #2 and #3.
  6. UFIC – SSN Authorization Letter: will be provided by UFIC
  7. Employers Offer Letter – Offer letter must contain the SSA requirements. **