Social Security Number (F-1/J-1 Students)

Social Security Number Application Procedures

What you should know before you apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)

  • You must be enrolled for the current academic term at the University of Miami to apply for an SSN.
  • You may not begin on-campus employment (includes graduate students with assistantships) more than 30 days prior to the actual start of classes upon initial entry to begin a new course of study.
  • You may not take your application (see below) to SSA until you have been in the U.S. for a minimum of 10 days. This is how long it will take U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) to review your records in CIS’s pre-processing immigration document/status verification check called “SAVE” (Systematic Alert Verification for Entitlements).
  • Job assignments cannot be entered in Workday (University of Miami’s Human Resources and Payroll system) until your SSN is updated at the Office of the Registrar. It takes 24 hours for the SSN to be available in Workday to initiate the hiring process.
  • Attention Graduate Students with Assistantships: You should bring enough funds to cover your expenses for at least one month since payments for assistantships are issued only after a period of work, usually a month. You may not receive payment until you have a SSN, which will take at least two weeks to obtain. No federal or state financial aid or scholarships are available to international students. You are expected to have available the funds you showed on your Declaration and Certification of Finances during your period of studies at UM.

How to apply for a SSN

Step 1 - Obtain proof of employment authorization. The nature of the proof depends on the type of employment eligibility being used to support the application for a SSN:

For F-1 on-campus employment and J-1 on-campus employment, present a completed Social Security Number (SSN) Verification Form for On-Campus Employment.

For F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT), present an I-20 endorsed for CPT authorization. Apply for CPT through ISSS.

For F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) or off-campus employment, present an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) authorized for OPT. Apply for OPT through ISSS.

Step 2 - Take proof of employment authorization, Form I-94, Form I-20 (F-1 students) or Form DS-2019 (J-1 students), and passport to SSA along with a foreign or US driver’s license or your birth certificate. (Visit Social Security Administration for information and directions to the SSA office nearest you.)

Your Social Security Card will be mailed to your U.S residential address in approximately two weeks. The process may take up to two months if your records do not immediately appear in SAVE.

After you receive your SSN

The SSN is an important document and should be safeguarded.

Report your SSN to the Office of the Registrar via the e-form at Social Security / Tax Identification Number Update Form.

Social Security Number and Taxes

Although your employer should withhold any U.S. income tax related to your employment, Social Security Withholding/Medicare (F.I.C.A.) should not be deducted from the salary of F-1 and J-1 students, unless you are considered a “resident for tax purposes,” a situation which normally occurs after a student has been here at least five years.