A Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique, 9-digit number used for taxpayer identification, income reporting, and record-keeping purposes. Once issued, the number is valid for a lifetime. You should keep it safe and provide only as needed to U.S. government agencies or credible financial institutions.
Note: If you have been issued a number previously, do not apply for another as this will cause confusion in your tax records.
Check in with Scholar Services first. The records of J-1 scholars must be validated in SEVIS before an application can be filed; so you must wait at least 2 days after we validate your arrival before you can apply.
Go to the Social Security Administration card center closest to where you live with the following documents to apply for a SSN:
Note: If you live in New Jersey or elsewhere, please use the Social Security Office Locator to find the center where you should apply.
If you have been assigned a Social Security Number but lost your card, you will need to re-apply for a new Social Security card. You must be eligible for a Social Security card under the current Social Security Administration regulations, and you need to follow the procedure listed on this page.