Social Security Numbers (SSN)

International students who plan to work (on- or off-campus) and Visiting Language Instructors 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 2 weeks 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 CIE for you to apply for a number. If you are new to UMW, check with CIE to make sure it is registered. Typically, CIE registers the records after the first week of classes.
  • There is no fee to apply for the number.
  • It usually takes about 2 weeks for your card to arrive in the mail.
  • Social Security Application Forms must be submitted in person at the Social Security Office.  The closest office is in Fredericksburg. CIE will provide transportation to the Social Security Office at the beginning of each semester.
  • All supporting documents must be originals. No notarized copies are accepted.
  • Once you receive your Social Security Number, keep it in safe place.  This number will be valid for the rest of your life, and it can be very difficult (and sometimes impossible) to find it out if you lose your card.

F-1 Students with On-campus Employment

(Students must already have a job offer, and may apply for a SSN no earlier than 30 days before the start date of your on-campus job.)

F-1 Students with Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

(Students may apply for a SSN no earlier than 30 days before the start date on their CPT.)

  • SSN Application Form
  • Passport
  • I-20 with CPT authorization on page 3
  • I-94 Record. Print this at the Customs & Border Protection website.  If you have difficulty accessing this, contact CIE.  If you last entered the U.S. in May 2013 or prior, use the paper I-94 card in your passport instead.

F-1 Students with Optional Practical Training (OPT)

(Students may apply for a SSN no earlier than the start date of their EAD.)

J-1 Students and Interns (Academic Training)

  • SSN Application Form
  • Passport
  • DS-2019
  • I-94 Record. Print this at the Customs & Border Protection website.  If you have difficulty accessing this, contact CIE.  If you last entered the U.S. in May 2013 or prior, use the paper I-94 card in your passport instead.
  • Verification of J-1 Exchange Student Eligibility for Social Security Number
  • Note: For J-1 applicants: You must have 14 days left on your DS-2019 (see program dates in Section 3 of the DS-2019) or you will be in the US for 14 or more days from date of application, to receive the SSN card at the mailing address provided.

J-1 Scholars/Professors (VLIs)

  • SSN Application Form
  • Passport
  • DS-2019
  • I-94 Record. Print this at the Customs & Border Protection website.  If you have difficulty accessing this, contact CIE.  If you last entered the U.S. in May 2013 or prior, use the paper I-94 card in your passport instead.
  • Your Invitation letter/contract (original UMW employment contract) with original signature.
  • Note: For J-1 applicants: You must have 14 days left on your DS-2019 (see program dates in Section 3 of the DS-2019) or you will be in the US for 14 or more days from date of application, to receive the SSN card at the mailing address provided.