Social Security Number Support Letter - International Students

Applying for a Social Security Number -- International Students

International students engaging in on-campus employment, assistantship or a graduate fellowship should follow the steps shown below. The Social Security Administration needs to check your visa and U.S. entry records before a card can be issued.

Note: If you have only just arrived in the U.S. to begin your academic program, please wait at least two weeks from the time of your entry to the U.S. and completion of F-1/J-1 registration, before applying for a Social Security card. Typically it takes the Social Security Administration up to two weeks to access your U.S entry records. Applying earlier or prior to completion of F-1/J-1 registration will not speed up the process, but may result in a notification from Social Security that your records could not be verified.

Steps to Apply for the Social Security Number 

  1. International students will need to first obtain an employment letter from their on-campus employer (Sample Student Employment Letter PDF) .
  2. Once you receive the employment letter from your on-campus employer, you will need to email a copy of the letter to [email protected] along with the following data: (Passport name, US Address, US phone number, the date you entered the U.S.). You must be in the U.S. to apply the SSN, and if you have just recently arrived to Rhode Island, must have completed your 14 day self quarantine before applying the SSN). OISSS needs to keep a copy of the letter on file.
  3. Upon providing the employer's letter, OISSS will issue a second letter for your social security application and will email it back to you. The Social Security Administration is currently taking applications by appointment only. OISSS will help assist you in obtaining your appointment. The Social Security Administration will contact you via phone to the phone# you provide to the OISSS in regards to scheduling your appointment with the SSA.
  4. Follow further instructions for submitting application to Social Security Administration.