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Social Security Number Application Procedures

Social Security  Application Procedures 

All F-1 students, J-1 students, and J-1 scholars must complete the check-in process with OISS a minimum of two days prior to applying for an SSN. 

Social Security Number (SSN) Application requirements vary according to your visa status and eligibility. Please click below to learn more: 

F-1 Students with On-Campus Employment

Required documents: 

  • Passport  

  • I-20  

  • F-1 SSN letter signed by OISS 

  • F-1 SSN letter signed by on-campus employer 

  • You can apply for both required F-1 SSN letters using one application through MyOISS, found under the “Request a Letter” category. Please note the F-1 SSN Endorsement Letter e-form is only accessible after your F-1 record has been validated by OISS.  

The application is a two-step process: 

  • F-1 student submits SSN Letter e-form in MyOISS, which requires contact information for someone in the student’s on-campus employer office. 

  • The on-campus employer receives an email with a link to the second part of the e-form. When the employer submits the e-form, the application is complete and is routed to OISS for approval. 

When OISS approves the application, MyOISS will generate both letters – one for OISS and the other for the employer. The letters are complete and can simply be printed and signed. OISS will send its letter to the student using the shipping method specified by the student during the application process. The employer’s representative will give their letter to the student however they see fit – via mail, pick-up, or in person. The SSA requires original letters with ink signatures to be submitted.  

Please note that you cannot apply for an SSN more than 30 days prior to your employment start date. 

Social Security Administration (SSA) pandemic operations require people applying for a new SSN to schedule an appointment in advance. Please call +1 (877) 512-5944 to leave a message requesting an appointment at the Lansing SSA. Your call will be returned within 1-2 weeks with your appointment time. 

SSN Letters are only valid for 30 days! Check the dates on your letters once your SSA appointment is booked. If there is more than 30 days between the date on your letters and the date of your appointment, apply for new letters immediately. 

F-1 Students with Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Authorization

Required documents: 

  • Passport 

  • I-20 with CPT endorsement on page 2 

Please note that you cannot apply for an SSN more than 30 days prior to your CPT start date. 

Social Security Administration (SSA) pandemic operations require people applying for a new SSN to schedule an appointment in advance. Please call +1 (877) 512-5944 to leave a message requesting an appointment at the Lansing SSA. Your call will be returned within 1-2 weeks with your appointment time. 

F-1 Students with Optional Practical Training (OPT) Authorization

Required documents: 

  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also called the “OPT Card” 

  • Passport

Please note that you cannot apply for an SSN more than 30 days prior to your OPT start date. 

Social Security Administration (SSA) pandemic operations require people applying for a new SSN to schedule an appointment in advance. Please call +1 (877) 512-5944 to leave a message requesting an appointment at the Lansing SSA. Your call will be returned within 1-2 weeks with your appointment time. 

J-1 Students

Required documents: 

  • Passport  

  • DS-2019 

  • J-1 SSN Letter Signed by OISS (J-1 students not under MSU program sponsorship should obtain the letter from the program sponsor.) 

You can apply for the required J-1 SSN letter using one application through MyOISS, found under the “Request a Letter” category. Please note the J-1 SSN Endorsement Letter e-form is only accessible after your J-1 record has been validated by OISS. The application is a two-step process: 

  • J-1 student submits SSN Letter e-form in MyOISS. 

  • When OISS approves the application, MyOISS will generate the letterOISS will send its letter to the student using the shipping method specified by the student during the application process. The SSA requires original letters with ink signatures to be submitted.  

Please note that you cannot apply for an SSN more than 30 days prior to your employment start date. 

Social Security Administration (SSA) pandemic operations require people applying for a new SSN to schedule an appointment in advance. Please call +1 (877) 512-5944 to leave a message requesting an appointment at the Lansing SSA. Your call will be returned within 1-2 weeks with your appointment time. 

SSN Letters are only valid for 30 days! Check the date on your letter once your SSA appointment is booked. If there is more than 30 days between the date on your letter and the date of your appointment, apply for new letter immediately. 

J-1 Scholars and Student Interns

Required documents: 

  • Passport  

  • DS-2019 

  • J-1 SSN Letter Signed by OISS (J-1 scholars not under MSU program sponsorship should obtain the letter from the program sponsor.)  

You can apply for the required J-1 SSN letter using one application through MyOISS, found under the “Request a Letter” category. Please note the J-1 SSN Endorsement Letter e-form is only accessible after your J-1 record has been validated by OISS. The application is a two-step process: 

  • J-1 scholar submits SSN Letter e-form in MyOISS. 

  • When OISS approves the application, MyOISS will generate the letter. OISS will send its letter to the scholar using the shipping method specified by the scholar during the application process. The SSA requires original letters with ink signatures to be submitted.  

Please note that you cannot apply for an SSN more than 30 days prior to your employment start date. 

Social Security Administration (SSA) pandemic operations require people applying for a new SSN to schedule an appointment in advance. Please call +1 (877) 512-5944 to leave a message requesting an appointment at the Lansing SSA. Your call will be returned within 1-2 weeks with your appointment time. 

SSN Letters are only valid for 30 days! Check the date on your letter once your SSA appointment is booked. If there is more than 30 days between the date on your letter and the date of your appointment, apply for a new letter immediately. 

J-2 Dependents with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Required documents: 

  • Passport 

  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) 

Please note that you cannot apply for an SSN more than 30 days prior to your EAD start date. 

Social Security Administration (SSA) pandemic operations require people applying for a new SSN to schedule an appointment in advance. Please call +1 (877) 512-5944 to leave a message requesting an appointment at the Lansing SSA. Your call will be returned within 1-2 weeks with your appointment time. 

H-1B Employees

Required documents: 

  • Passport 

  • I-94 

  • I-797C Approval Notice 

Social Security Administration (SSA) pandemic operations require people applying for a new SSN to schedule an appointment in advance. Please call +1 (877) 512-5944 to leave a message requesting an appointment at the Lansing SSA. Your call will be returned within 1-2 weeks with your appointment time. 

H-4 Dependents with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Required documents: 

  • Passport 

  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) 

Social Security Administration (SSA) pandemic operations require people applying for a new SSN to schedule an appointment in advance. Please call +1 (877) 512-5944 to leave a message requesting an appointment at the Lansing SSA. Your call will be returned within 1-2 weeks with your appointment time. 

After You Receive Your SSN 

While you will not need to show your social security card very often, you will need to memorize your number. Once you have your social security card, do not carry your card with you. Keep it in a safe place with your other important papers.