Obtaining a Social Security Number

What is a Social Security Number?

A Social Security Number is a government identification number/tax id number issued to all residents of the United States. Most residents receive this number as children. It is not necessary for international students to have a social security number, unless they want to work. All students need a social security number in order to be able to work in the U.S. There is no charge for social security numbers.

When should I apply for a Social Security Number?

  • You should apply for a Social Security Number if you wish to work, after you actually find a job. 
  • You must wait 10 working days (after arriving to the U.S.) before you apply for a Social Security Number.
  • You do not need one to apply for a driver's license, you need the form letter SSA-L676 from the Social Security Office instead.

What do I need to apply for a Social Security Number?

F-1 student visa holders need the following documentation in order to apply for a Social Security Card:

  • a letter from your employer stating that you have received an offer of employment,
  • an authorization letter from the CIP - You can request one by filling the Document Request Form
  • your valid passport & visa
  • I-94 -- a small white card given to you at arrival at a port of entry/ a print-out of the information retrieved at http://www.cbp.gov/I94
  • Most recent/updated I-20
  • The Social Security Application Form, a PDF version can be downloaded here: http://www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf 

J-1 student visa holders need the following documentation in order to apply for a Social Security Card:

  • your passport
  • your visa
  • I-94 -- a small white card given to you at arrival at a port of entry/ a print-out of the information retrieved at http://www.cbp.gov/I94
  • DS-2019.

J-1 scholar visa holders need the following documentation in order to apply for a Social Security Card:

  • passport,
  • I-94 (a small white card stapled in your passport),
  • Invitation letter from your department, and
  • your DS-2019.

What do I need to get the form letter SSA-L676?

  • a letter from the CIP( if you do not require assistance going to the Social Security Office) You can request one by filling the Document Request Form
  • your valid passport
  • your most recent I-20
  • The Social Security Application Form, a PDF version can be downloaded here: http://www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf 

Where do I apply for a Social Security Number?

You must apply in person at the Social Security Administration office located at:   5131 Bemiss Road (Next to Advance Auto Parts).

The office operating hours are 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday and 9:00 am- 12:00 pm on Wednesdays.

You can contact the Social Security office at:
(800) 772-1213  or  (229) 244-7326 

Please Note: The Social Security Card will be mailed to you in approximately 2 weeks at the address that you put on the application

For your admission to VSU, you were issued a student identification number which has the same number of digits as the social security number. The university uses the ID number for all your university records. This number also appears on your student identification card. For most students, this number follows this pattern: 870-XX-XXXX. Please do not use the "870" number for any business outside of the VSU campus.

For more information on why you need a social security number and how to apply follow the directions on the Electronic Fact Sheet we included in this section.