What is a Social Security Number?
A Social Security number is intended to accurately record your earnings in the United States. Most employees are required to pay a certain percentage of their earnings to the Social Security System through the Federal Insurance Compensation Act (FICA tax). However, most F-1 and J-1 employees are usually exempt from the FICA tax.
Do You Need a Social Security Number?
You must have a Social Security number in order to work in the United States. However, having a Social Security Card does NOT give your authorization to work.
You only need to apply for a Social Security Number if:
Social Security Numbers are NOT needed for:
How Do You Apply for a Social Security Card?
The Social Security Administration now requires that all F-1 and J-1 students must show proof of employment before they can be issued a Social Security Number.
Steps to Apply for a Social Security Number
Step 1 - Get a Job
Find a department who will hire you for a job that is currently available. Obtain a letter of offer from your employer and take that letter to the Office of International Program (OIP). (click here to download a blank on-campus employment letter, your employer may copy it on their office letterhead before filling in the details.)
Step 2 - Bring the letter signed by the department that is going to hire you to OIP. You will then obtain a letter from Office of International Programs (OIP) to take to Social Security Administration along with a social security application.
On number 2 (mailing address) of the application, put down:
c/o Valparaiso University
Office of International Programs
1509 Chapel Drive, 209 Harre Union
Valparaiso, IN 46383-7123
Step 3 - Go to the Social Security Administration
Take the special letter issued to you by the international advisor, your I-20 or DS-2019, passport, I-94 card, and employment letter to Social Security Administration located at:
3810 Calumet Avenue
Valparaiso, IN 46383
The office opens Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please arrive no later than 3:30 p.m
Step 4 - Your Card
It takes two weeks to process the card. You will be notified by email when your card arrives at OIP. You must then come to OUR office to complete your employment paperwork before you may begin working. You are responsible for taking this paperwork to the Human Resources Office in Kretzmann Hall.
For more information on Social Security Administration, click here.