As an F-1 visa holder, you are not eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) until you have secured either on- or off-campus employment. Participation in an internship or Optional Practical Training (OPT) may require authorization from the US Department of Homeland Security. To apply, you must provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) with evidence of age, identity, immigration status and work authorization. If you do not have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or authorization from JWU to take part in Curricular Practical Training (CPT), you must provide evidence that you are authorized to work. You will also have to prove that you have either secured employment or a promise thereof. Only then will the SSA issue an SSN.
In instances where a Social Security number is asked for — such as applying for a driver’s license — you must go through the application process for an SSN. First, go to the International Center and fill out the International Student Request form (159K PDF). Your international student advisor will provide you with a letter, which must be submitted to the SSA. They will respond with a denial letter that can then be used in place of an SSN.