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OGE – Office of International Programs
University of Mississippi

Social Security Numbers

Social Security numbers are issued by the United States Social Security Administration. A Social Security number is required to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services. On October 13, 2004 Social Security placed restrictions on the issuance of Social Security numbers to non-citizens of the United States. In order to be eligible for a Social Security card you must either be an F-1 student with a job or job offer, or a J-1 student with a letter of support from your J-Program Advisor. If you are not sure if you qualify for a Social Security number you may meet with the student adviser in the Office of International Programs. According to Social Security Administration you may work while the Social Security number application is being processed.

Required Documents for obtaining a Social Security Number

    • Passport page, plus a photocopy of the passport page
    • Visa page, plus a photocopy of the Visa
    • I-94 Card or I-94 Arrival Page, plus a photocopy of the I-94 Card or I-94 Arrival Page
    • I-20, DS-2019, or other immigration document, plus a photocopy of the document
    • J-1s and J-2 Dependents must have a letter of support from their J-Program Advisor
    • J-2 Dependents must have a valid Employment Authorization Card before they can apply
    • H-1Bs, TNs, and O-1s do not require a letter from International Programs
    • Social Security application

Location and Dates for Social Security Number Registration

Social Security registration takes place at any Social Security Administrative (SSA) office. Oxford does not currently have an SSA office. You can apply for an SSN at the regional office of the SSA in Tupelo, Mississippi. The Tupelo SSA office is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:00am-3:00pm. and on Wednesdays from 9:00am – 12 noon. SSA is closed for federal holidays.

The Tupelo office can answer any questions you may have about your SSN Application.

Social Security Administration
199 Saddle Creek Drive
Tupelo, MS 38801
Phone: 866 504-4267

OIP offers occasional shuttles to the Tupelo office for international students and scholars who need to apply for Social Security. For more information about our courtesy shuttle service, please contact us at 662-915-7404 or


Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers

Generally, all F-1 an J-1 visa holders and their dependents are required to file tax forms each year, whether or not they earned any income.  When completing the tax forms, you are required to indicate your U.S. Social Security number. However, many individuals who hold other non-immigrant statuses are not eligible for social security numbers, since the issuance of Social Security numbers is tied to eligibility for employment authorization.
Therefore, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has created the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to be used by the limited number of non-U.S. citizen individuals who are not eligible for a Social Security number, but who have tax responsibilities. An ITIN is a nine-digit number that always begins with a 9 and has a 7 or 8 for the fourth digit; example: 9xx-7x-xxxx
The ITIN is for tax purposes only. It cannot be issued for other purposes, such as applying for a driver’s license or state ID card.

You as the applicant must have a valid tax purpose for obtaining an ITIN; otherwise, the IRS cannot accept your application. Examples include:


      • An F-1 student receiving a non-compensatory scholarship or fellowship grant who shows written proof that his or her application was rejected by the Social Security, or has a letter from the designated school official stating that he/she will not be securing employment while in the United States. In most cases on our campus this would apply to student athletes who have scholarships that pay for room and board.  The University of Mississippi does not allow scholarship’s taxable amount to be posted to a student’s account until an ITIN or Social Security number has been obtained.
      • An individual not eligible for a social security number but required to file a tax return to claim a refund of tax under the provisions of a U.S. tax treaty
      • An individual not eligible for a Social Security number but who is the dependent child or spouse of a non-resident visa holder from Canada, Mexico, India, or Republic of Korea (these are the only countries that permit non-residents for tax purposes to claim spouses or children as dependents on their tax returns, based on the terms of the tax treaty with the United States.)
      • An individual not eligible for a Social Security number who is a dependent or spouse of an individual who is a resident for tax purposes (once an F-1 student has been in that non-immigrant status for more than five years, that student becomes a resident for tax purposes and can claim their spouse and/or children as dependents on their U.S. tax return).
      • An individual not eligible for a Social Security number but who has opened an account with a financial institution that generates income subject to either reporting or withholding

To apply for an ITIN, obtain form W-7 from the IRS
For individuals seeking an ITIN in order to file an income tax return, the W-7 must be filed along with the income tax return.

Student athletes seeking an ITIN in order to meet reporting or withholding requirements of The University of Mississippi will be advised by the student advisor at The Office of International Programs. If you are eligible to file for ITIN it takes four to six weeks to receive an ITIN decision.
Staff at the Office of International Programs are neither qualified nor permitted to give individual tax advice. Tax information is available only at tax workshops scheduled during the academic year.