Skip to Content

F-1 student visa holders are not eligible for Social Security Numbers unless they intend to engage in employment. In order to apply for a Social Security Number you will need to do the following:

If you are an F-1 student and will work on-campus:

  • Ask your on-campus employer for a job offer letter on official letterhead (see attached sample letter)
  • Bring the employer letter to the Intercultural Center hours to receive an additional Social Security letter
  • Bring your passport, your I-20, your I-94 card, the employer letter and the Intercultural Center letter to one of the Social Security Offices listed below

If you are an F-1 visa holder on CPT: take your passport, your I-20 visa document showing your authorized CPT (on page 3), and your I-94 form to one of the Social Security Offices listed below.

If you are an F-1 visa holder on OPT: take your passport, your I-20 visa document showing the authorized OPT (on page 3), your I-94 form, and your EAD card to one of the Social Security Offices listed below.

At the Social Security Administration Office, you must complete an application form. You will receive notification of your Social Security Number in the mail. The process usually takes four to eight weeks. You may call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 with any questions. For more information, check the website: www.ssa.gov. You may begin working while the application is pending (i.e. you may not work until you have filed the application, but you may work before you receive the card). If your on-campus employer has any questions, they should contact the Intercultural Center at extension 3121.

Social Security Administration Office locations:

3rd Floor, 380 Westminster Street
Providence , RI 02903
877-402-0808
Open M,T,TH,F 9am- 3pm   Wed 9-12pm
Directions: Located downtown in Federal Center (2nd building in from intersection of Westminster & Empire Streets)

Room 210, 130 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
866-253-5607
Open M,T,TH,F 9am- 3pm  Wed  9-12pm
Directions: There is a large green sign in the front yard. The office is in the building in the back. There is free parking. Enter the double doors and go to 2nd floor.

NOTE: Once students have obtained a U.S. Social Security Number, it is not necessary to apply for a new one if the employment changes. The Social Security Number is valid for life. Do not lose your Social Security card.