International students and scholars employed in the US need to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) to receive payment for their work. The number assigned to you is permanent.  If you previously applied and received a number, there is no need to apply for a new SSN.

Requirements and Process for Obtaining a Social Security Number

  • You must have an assistantship appointment, paid job offer, or paid internship (please, do not forget to see the appropriate work authorization from UFIC) to apply for an SSN.
  • You may apply for the SSN no earlier than 30 days before the employment start date.
  • If you have previously applied and have lost or misplaced your SSN card, please contact your local SSA office for instructions.  

SSN Application Process

The applicant should assemble the following materials and take them to their scheduled appointment:

  1. Completed SS 5 Application form
  2. Completed SSA Questionnaire for Non-US Citizens:
    1. This document must be filled out according to the instructions on page 2.
  3. Employment Offer Letter (from the hiring department, when UF is the employer for assistantships/fellowships; from the hiring company for paid internships or other on-campus employment.) This letter must:
    • Be an original letter on employer letterhead, signed and dated by the supervisor/HR representative
    • Include the Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax purposes
    • Include a current date and 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 the 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)
  4. SSN Student Authorization Letter (from UFIC) 
    • If you are a new student with a new assistantship/fellowship, you must request an authorization letter which will be provided with your updated DS-2019 form.
    • For any off-campus work, please, contact your immigration advisor at UFIC before your start date for the necessary authorizations.
    • For on-campus employment, please, request a letter with UFIC
  5. Valid DS-2019 form
  6. Valid Passport, with a J-1 visa, Canadian citizens need not have a J-1 visa.
  7. Printout of I-94 Record- most recent entry into the US: (history screen not necessary)

Once the application is processed

Your SSN card will be mailed directly to the address you provide. It is a paper card, NOT a plastic card, which can be easily overlooked or lost. Please keep it in a safe place and DO NOT laminate it.

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

In the event the SSN card is lost, the applicant will need to apply for a replacement card; please see the guidance provided on the SSA website.