Applying for a Social Security Number
In order to work in the United States, it is necessary to have a Social Security Number (SSN). According to current regulations, F-1 or J-1 students must have an employment letter (job offer letter or assistantship letter) for employment in order to apply for a SSN (Dependents are not eligible unless you are a J-2 with work authorization).
- Please visit this web site for instructions on how to apply: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10181.html
- In general, you must provide your passport (including your I-94 card and visa), I-20 for F-1 students (or the DS-2019 if you are a J-1 student), and the employment letter stated above. Please note that the employment letter must state your employer's "EIN" (Employer Identification Number). If your employment is on campus at NDSU, NDSU's EIN is: 45-6002439.
- Job offer letter details: In addition to the EIN, the letter must also state your name, position title, pay, and hours per week that you will work.
- Click here to download a handout from our office regarding social security numbers, if you need some more guidance.
- Download the Application: https://www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf
- Bring application and all forms to the Fargo Social Security Administration Office which is located in the Federal Building, 657 North 2nd Ave, Social Security Administration, Room 320.
There is no fee charged for obtaining a SSN. The average length of time it takes to receive the card is four to six weeks.
Please note that you will not be able to receive a paycheck from NDSU until activated in SEVIS.
Newly arrived students: Your I-20 or DS-2019 record must be activated in SEVIS before you apply. Therefore, you must report to the Office of International Programs to submit arrival paperwork, and then should wait to apply for the SSN until at least 10 days have passed after entry to the United States.
Important Reminder: Be careful when using your Social Security card. Treat the number as carefully as you would treat a credit card number. Keep it in a safe place and do not share the number with anyone.