Social Security Number (SSN)

This page only applies to student with F-1 status. ISS cannot help you with a Social Security Number if you hold another status in the US.

What is a social security number?

The SSN is used for tax-reporting requirements. It is not required to obtain a driver’s license, cell phone, credit card, or insurance.

To help you receive a social security number for on-campus employment, please complete the SSN request on the International Student Portal. You will also need to attach a copy of your employment offer letter to the SSN request.

  • Employment Offer Letters must include the following:
    • The employer/company/department name
    • The name of the supervisor
    • The phone number of the supervisor
    • The job title
    • The number of hours/per week
    • The start date of employment
  • ISS will print a confirmation letter that verifies your F-1 status and eligibility for on-campus employment once your SSN request is processed and approved.
  • After your confirmation letter from ISS is printed, it will be available at the Summit Hall welcome desk. You will receive an email when it is ready. Further instructions will be given in that email.
  • ISS does not issue social security numbers. After receiving your confirmation letter from ISS, you must submit an application with the Social Security Administration.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply for my SSN?

You are only eligible to apply for a SSN after you have an on-campus job offer or off-campus training. If you have arrived to the US on an Initial Attendance I-20 from UW Bothell, you must wait until your SEVIS registration is complete. The Social Security Administration can’t process your application until your SEVIS record is activated.

How long will it take to get my SSN?

You will receive your SSN on a physical card via mail within 1 to 2 weeks.

When can I start working?

If the employment is at the University of Washington Bothell, please consult with your hiring manager or OEHR.

If your employment is off-campus, some employers may allow you to begin work while you wait for your SSN card. Students should check with their employer to confirm, and can provide the following information to their employer.