Applying for a U.S. Social Security Number
In order to be eligible for a SSN (Card), F-1 students must have a job or job-offer on campus, and J-1s students must have a letter of affiliation/support from their J-1 Program Advisor.
F-1 and J-1 students/scholars may begin working while the application for an SSN is being processed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). They may not, however, receive income until SSN processing receipt and or SSN has been issued and processed by the Human Resources department of their respective employer.
Employers may wish to reference the SSA’s Fact Sheet, Employer Responsibilities When Hiring Foreign Workers, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/employer/hiring.htm. This fact sheet contains information on how to report wages for an employee who has not yet received an SSN.
To apply for the SSN, students must (in order):
- Submit job offer letter on departmental letterhead from employing department or letter of affiliation/support from J-1 Program Advisor to the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS)
- The sample job offer letter may be copied onto letterhead.
- Pick up Status verification letter from ISSS when notified via email from email@example.com
- Copy immigration documents required
- Apply in person at the Security Office in Tupelo
The following documents must be presented when applying for the SSN:
- F-1 students -Job offer letter from employing department
- J-1 students – Letter of affiliation/support from J-1 Program Advisor
- Status verification letter from ISSS
- Form SS-5: “Application for A Social Security Number Card”
- I-20 or DS-2019 (Copy & Original)
- I-94 Card(Copy, back and front & Original)
- Passport (Copy, visa and identification page & Original)
Additionally, please note that the following statuses do not allow employment, thus preventing the issuance of a SSN: F-2, H-4, TD and B.
Where can you apply for an SSN?
- You can apply for an SSN at the regional office of the SSA in Tupelo, Mississippi. The SSA office is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:00am-4:00pm. and on Wednesdays from 9:00am – 12 noon. The SSA is closed for federal holidays.
- Contact Information:
- Social Security Administration – Regional Office 199 Saddle Creek Drive Tupelo, Mississippi 38801 866-504-4267 www.ssa.gov
How can I get to the Social Security Administration Office?
International students/scholars, holding primary F or J status, which do not have access to personal transportation may arrange for a ride via the International Student & Scholar Services to the SSA in Tupelo, Mississippi. Rides are not offered to F or J dependents or to U.S. citizens. Rides are offered periodically through the International Student & Scholar Services in Martindale room 331. Days and times will be posted at the front desk sign-up sheet. Ride capacity is restricted at maximum 6 international students/scholars per SSA-Ride-Day.
- For booking, send your request including name, student ID #, and date to firstname.lastname@example.org. A confirmation will be sent with a reminder of time, date, and preparation of documents. Advance booking closes at noon on the Tuesday prior to the SSA-Ride-Day.
SSA Ride Days/Times Coordinated by ISSS
SSA trips will be determined by ISSS based on availability and need. Please allow at least 3 hours in your schedule for the trip to and from Tupelo. Please sign up for a shuttle date you will need at the ISSS front desk.
- For further questions, please contact: International Student Advisor International Student & Scholar Services.
Sample Letter of Job Offer
The Job or Job Offer letter must be printed on the letterhead of the department/company which has made the job offer. The Social Security Administration has requested a Job Offer Letter using the format below. If you would like a fill-in-the-blank version, you may download one here
Dear Social Security Administration Officer,
Please accept this letter to accompany the Social Security application of [Student Name], who is a/an [Visa Type] student at the University of Mississippi. The above named student has been offered employment as a [Job Title] in the department of [Department Name].
The general duties of this position include: [Description of Main Responsibilities].
It is our understanding that the student is eligible to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while enrolled when the school is in session.
The student will begin work on [Date] and will work [##] hours per week.
The student’s immediate supervisor is [Name of Immediate Supervisor].
The University of Mississippi’s EIN is: 646001159
Thank you for your consideration,
[City, State, Zip]
Social Security Number Application Form
You can download the Form SS-5 here. If you have questions regarding the process, you may contact the staff in the ISSS office. If you have questions for the Social Security Administration, you may reach them at www.ssa.gov or Tupelo Office at 1-866- 504-4267.