To inform international students and scholars of the procedures
that must be followed to obtain a Social Security card with an assigned
Social Security Number.
is a Social Security Card?
A Social Security Card
provides a unique identification number that allows the United States
government to monitor and tax wages earned by employees in the U.S.
that a Social Security Card does not grant employment authorization,
it simply provides a unique identifying number to allow employers
to pay wages and deduct the appropriate taxes on behalf of the U.S.
government. Each different immigration classification has
varying rules regarding possible employment authorization.
You must be physically
present in the U.S. in an immigration classification that permits
employment. With regard to specific classifications held by most
Boston University international students and scholars, the following
eligibility criteria also apply:
Students in F-1
status are eligible under any of the following circumstances:
If they have been
offered an on-campus job or already begun working at an
If they have been
granted Curricular Practical Training employment authorization
If they have
been granted Optional Practical Training employment authorization
and have received
Authorization Document (EAD); and the validy period of the
EAD has begun.
Students in J-1
status sponsored by Boston University are eligible:
At any time while
pursuing their program of study.
of the program of study if the student has been granted
Academc Training (AT) employment authorization.
in J-1 status sponsored by an outside agency should consult
with their Exchange Program Sponsor regarding their eligibility
and the documentation they need to apply.
Scholars in J-1
status are eligible at any time up to 15 days prior to
the end of the period of their exchange program as indicated
on their Form DS-2019.
in H-1 or O-1 status are eligible at any time up to 15
days prior to the end of the approved period of employment
as indicated on their I-797 Approval Notice.
in TN status are eligible at any time up to 15 days prior
to the end of the approved period of employment as indicated
on their I-94 Arrival/Departure Record (Card).
Students and scholars
in possession of and Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
are elgible to apply only after the validy period of
the EAD has begun; and no later then 15 days prior to the
expiration of the EAD. (Students in F-1 status, see #1 above).
should you submit the Application for the Social Security Card?
If you have recently arrived
in the U.S. for the first time in your current immigration classification,
you must wait at least 10 business days
after your date of arrival to submit an application for a Social
Security card. This will allow the Department of Homeland Security
adequate time to enter your arrival information in their database
for verification purposes.
In addition, refer
to the attached chart for other time restrictions.
You may submit an application
for a Social Security card to the Social Security Administration
in person on any business day (except holidays) between the hours
of 9:00 am and 4:00 am . When possible, it is best
to obtain the Social Security card prior to beginning any employment
in the U.S. If you begin employment without a Social Security Number,
you must inform your on-campus employer as soon as you receive your
Social Security Number for payroll purposes.
documents should you submit for an Application for a Social Security
You must present ALL of
the following documentation:
A completed Application
for a Social Security Card. The application form is available
at the ISSO, on-line at www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf
, or at the Social Security Administration office.
Unexpired foreign passport
with U.S. visa stamped inside
I-94 Departure card (small white card stapled into
here to see a chart of additional documents required, or
download a full
set of instructions which includes the chart of additional documents
should you submit the Application for a Social Security Card?
Thomas P. O’Neill Federal Office Building
10 Causeway Street Room 148
Boston, MA 02222
Telephone # (800) 772-1213
By MBTA: North Station
"T" stop on the green or orange line; building is next
to the TD Banknorth Garden. For a map to the office, go to: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/FOLO/Controller
Your Social Security Card and Number
The Social Security Administration
may need some time to verify your current immigration status before
they can issue a Social Security card. In most cases, a Social Security
card should be mailed to the address you listed on your application
form within 14 business days. If you do not receive a Social Security
card within 30-60 days, you should contact the Social Security Administration
via telephone at 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security Administration
website at: www.ssa.gov
to inquire about the status of your pending application.
The notation on the Social
Security card should read Valid for Employment Only with INS
Authorization which means that you may need to obtain work
permission in order to commence employment. To find out more about
employment authorization, please contact a staff member at the ISSO
or visit the ISSO website at www.bu.edu/isso.
To find out more about
the Social Security Administration in your native language, visit
the Social Security Multilanguage Gateway at: www.ssa.gov/multilanguage/index.htm
l. For Free Language Interpreter Services, call (800) 772-1213
between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm.
If you will be employed
at Boston University in any capacity, you must report to the ISSO
no later than your third day of employment to
complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for
payroll purposes. Please contact the staff of the ISSO for more
For more information regarding
Social Security number visit one of these pages of the Social Seurity
Administration web site:
Students And Social Security Numbers:
And Social Security Numbers:
Numbers For Noncitizens:
for a Social Security Card:
Administration home page: