Social Security Card

A Social Security Card is a government issued-card with an individual identification number. You must have a Social Security Card to be employed in the United States. You do not need this card to open a bank account or to apply for a driver’s license. If you already have a Social Security Number, you will not need to apply for another as this number is assigned for life.

F-1 students are only eligible for Social Security Cards if they have a job offer and if they are allowed to work. To apply for a Social Security Card, you will need to have the following documents:

  • Letter from employer confirming the job offer
  • F-1 On-Campus Employment Letter from International Student Advising (ISA) OR F-1 status verification letter if you are applying for CPT or OPT. You can get these letters from the front desk of International Student Advising (ISA). If you are applying for CPT, your letter will be issued along with your CPT I-20.
  • Most recent I-20. If applying after June 2015, you must have a “new” I-20 form. Contact International Student Advising (ISA) for details.
  • Passport
  • I-94
  • SJSU Tower ID card
  • Social Security Card Application

Once you have these documents, take them to the Social Security Administration office. The closest office is located at 280 South First Street, Room 244 but there are several offices in San Jose. More office locations and hours can be found by following the link to the Social Security Administration website.

Social Security Administration must verify your documents with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) before your number is assigned. This process takes 2 to 3 weeks. The Social Security Administration will not expedite this process, so please plan accordingly. Check with your new employer's Human Resources (HR) department in advance to verify if you can begin work prior to receiving your Social Security number.