All You Need To Know – Applying for Social Security Number

Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number provided to US citizens, non-citizens who wish to work in the country. It has become a primary source of identification in the country. From opening bank accounts to getting a new phone connection to filing your taxes, one needs to provide their SSN. One must always be sure to keep their SSN safeguarded – failure to do so can result in identity theft as everything is linked to SSN.

For immigrants, SSN is a required document prior to starting work in the country. All your wages and taxes will be linked to your SSN. Applying to SSN is a straightforward process and doesn’t require much documentation.

What are the fees to obtain SSN?

There is no charge to get SSN.

Can students apply for SSN?

Students on F-1 or J-1 visa must apply for SSN if they receive a job offer in the country. This is true if you get an on-campus job or working off-campus (temporary employment through OPT or CPT).

Documents required for applying for SSN as a student:

Documents required for applying for SSN as an H-1B visa holder:

How to apply for SSN?

You must take all the aforementioned documents and go to your near SSA office. Appointments are not necessary. You can walk-in and get a token for your turn. Use the following link to locate your nearest SSA office – https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp

What is the wait time to receive the SSN?

It usually takes about 2-4 weeks from the time of your submission of documents to receive the SSN card in the mail. You can, however, begin working during your SSN application processing.

How to get a replacement SSN?

Even if you have lost your card, you usually don’t need a replacement. Simply knowing your Social Security Number is enough. However, if you really want an SSN card, then simply take the above-mentioned documents to your local SSA office to apply for a replacement card. The new card issued will have the same Social Security Number as the original one.


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