Center for International Education

Social Security Number

Social Security Number

A SSN is used to track an employee’s wages for benefits eligibility and tax-reporting requirements. A Social Security Number is not required to obtain a driver's license, cell phone, credit card, insurance, admission to an academic institution or other "non-work" reasons.

As an F-1 international student, you are eligible to apply for a SSN only after you receive a job offer. It can take approximately 2-4 weeks for the Social Security Administration Office to process your application, so students are encouraged to apply as soon as you receive your job offer.

If you are working at UW, per UW policy, you can not begin employment until you have a SSN.

For more information about how & where to apply, please use our Social Security Application Packet.

Additional information from the Social Security Administration:
International Students Applying for a Social Security Number