International Student and Scholar Services

How To Get A Social Security Number

(Process During COVID-19)

An international student is not eligible to get a Social Security number unless needed for paid employment. If you have been offered an on-campus job or you have qualified to do Curricular Practical Training (CPT), this is the process to apply for a Social Security number.

Follow the steps below to request your Social Security Number. Be sure to explain to your new employer that the process will take approximately two weeks to complete. This will help your employer determine your first day of work.

  1. Request a Verification of Enrollment letter from the international office. Important note  - After you submit the form, a staff member will contact you to request your job offer letter from your employer before they can write your letter. 

  2. Gather the following documents:
    1. Your valid I-20
    2. Valid passport
    3. Copy of your I-94
    4. Job offer letter from your on-campus or CPT employer
    5. Verification of Enrollment Letter from the international office

  3. Call our local Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1-866-964-7585

  4. Let them know you are an F-1 student and that you need to apply for a Social Security number (SSN).

  5. The agent should take your contact information, and maybe ask a few other questions, and forward your information to the office manager at the Chico SSA.

  6. The office manager should contact you within a few days to a week so that you can agree upon a time that works for you to go into the SSA to hand in your paperwork in-person.

  7. In addition to the paperwork above, you should also complete and bring with you the Application for Social a Social Security Card SS-5-FS (PDF).

  8. Once you submit your paperwork in-person, it will take about two weeks to get your SSN in the mail.