International Office - Social Security Number Information & Application

Anyone who plans to work (on- or off-campus) will need a Social Security number for payment and tax purposes. Social Security Numbers are only granted to those with work authorization.

Applying for a Social Security Number

  • You must wait at least 3 days after your arrival in the U.S. to apply for a number; this applies any time you go abroad and return to the U.S.
  • Your immigration record must be registered by the International Office in order for you to apply for a number, if you are in F-1 or J-1 status.
  • There is no fee to apply for the social security number.
  • It usually takes about 2-3 weeks for your card to arrive in the mail. Please visit the International Office if the process takes longer than 3 weeks.
  • Social Security Application Forms (see pdf) must be submitted in person at the Social Security Office. The closest office is in Newport News at 11706 Jefferson Ave, Newport News, VA 23606.
  • All documents must be originals. No notarized copies are accepted.
  • Once you receive your Social Security Number keep it in a safe place. The number will be valid for the rest of your life, but it can be very difficult to retrieve it if you lose your card.


View/Download Social Security Number Application


*Adapted from The College of William and Mary

CALL US: 757.728.6914
VISIT US: Armstrong-Slater First Floor — 8AM - 5PM