Social Security Card Application Procedures

A Social Security Card provides a unique identification number that allows the United States government to monitor and tax wages earned by employees in the United States. The Social Security Card does not grant employment authorization, it simply provides a unique identifying number to allow employers to pay wages and deduct appropriate taxes on behalf of the US government. Each different immigration classification has varying rules regarding possible employment authorization.

Eligibility for a Social Security Card

You must be physically present in the United States in an immigration classification that permits employment to apply for a SSN.

Students in F-1 status are eligible:

  • If they have been offered an on-campus job or already have begun working at an on-campus job.
  • If they have been granted Curricular Practical Training employment authorization.
  • If they have been granted Optional Practical Training employment authorization and have received their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and the validity of the EAD has begun.

Students in J-1 Status Sponsored by Holy Family University

Students may apply for SSN at any time while pursuing their program of study. Application for an SSN can also be had after completion of the program if Academic Training (AT) employment authorization has been granted.

Students in J-1 Status Sponsored by an Outside Agency

These students should consult with their Exchange Program Sponsor regarding their eligibility and the documentation they need to apply.

Scholars in J-1 Status

Scholars in J-1 status are eligible at any time up to 15 days prior to the end of the approved period of employment as indicated on their Form DS-2019.

Documents Required for SSN Application

  • Completed Form SS-5 (Application For A Social Security Card). The application is available online at or at the Social Security Office
  • Original documents proving your:
    a. Work authorized immigration status that includes the following:
    • I-94 arrival and Departure Record
    • F-1 students I-20 Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status
    • J-1 Exchange Visitor – DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status

  • b. Work eligibility F-1 Status
    Social Security Verification Form (IAO Form) signed by the DSO at Holy Family University that identifies the student as being in Active F-1 status, identifies the employer and type of on-campus work to be done.

    A recent pay slip or a signed and dated letter from the employer that describes the job, start date of employment, number of hours the student will be working, the name and phone number of the supervisor at the place of employment.
    • For CPT provide page 2 of the I-20 completed and signed by the University DSO.
    • For OPT or Post-Completion OPT provide your EAD (Employment Authorization Document)

  • c. Work Eligibility J-1 Status
    Provide a letter from your sponsor. The letter should be on sponsor letterhead with an original signature that authorizes employment.

  • d. Proof of Age
    Original documents for proof of age include a foreign birth certificate, a valid passport, or a document issued by the Department of Homeland Security as evidence of age.

  • e. Proof of Identity (Two separate original documents)
    • A current document that shows name, a recent photo, (State Photo ID, Driver's License), also I-94 and the unexpired foreign passport
    • EAD card (I-766)