International Student and Scholar Services

How To Get A Social Security Number

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 three (3) weeks to complete. This will help your employer determine your first day of work.

  1. Ask your employer for a job offer letter.  The Social Security Administration requires this.  Your job offer letter should be on your company's official letterhead and include:
    1. Your name
    2. Your Student ID number 
    3. Your supervisor’s name and contact information (phone/email)
    4. Your job title 
    5. Your estimated start date

  2. 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. 

  3. Gather your 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
    6. Completed & printed Application for Social a Social Security Card SS-5-FS (PDF)

  4. Submit your application in-person at the local Chico Social Security office:
    1. Phone: +18669647585
    2. Address: 1370 E. Lassen Avenue, STE 150, Chico, CA 95973
    3. Hours: Monday - Friday from 9 am - 4 pm

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