International Students and Scholars Office

Clark students


Social Security Number

The Social Security Number (SSN) is a 9-digit federal taxpayer identification number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and non-immigrants who qualify based on lawful status and legal employment. Social Security numbers are used to report your wages to the government and to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits.

The SSN is often requested for other purposes, such as opening a bank account or setting up a cell phone plan. While the SSN is convenient, it is not required for anything except U.S. employment. If you have any trouble setting up these services, you should request to speak to a supervisor or choose a different company for the services you are seeking.

What do I need to apply for the SSN?

F-1 Students

F-1 Students Working on Campus:

  • Form I-20
  • Passport with I-94 card
  • A letter from the international student advisor affirming that the F-1 student is enrolled in a full course of study and has secured a position with an on-campus employer
  • Letter of employment offer from the employer (on-campus department)

F-1 Students With CPT Employment Authorization:

  • Form I-20
  • Passport with I-94 card
  • CPT authorization on page 3 of the I-20 Form
  • Letter of employment offer from the employer

F-1 Students With OPT Employment Authorization:

  • Form I-20
  • Passport with I-94 card
  • Employment Authorization Card (EAD) issued by Department of Homeland Security
  • Letter of employment offer from the employer

J-1 Scholars

  • Form DS-2019
  • Passport with I-94 card
  • Proof of employment authorization. A J-1 scholar or exchange visitor must have a letter from the exchange program sponsor authorizing employment. For exchange visitors in J-1 categories in which employment is authorized incident to status (such as research fellows or visiting faculty) Form DS-2019 should be sufficient.
  • All applicants must submit a completed Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card


  • If you are a J-1 exchange visitor or student, and Clark University is not your program sponsor, we cannot provide you with this letter. Please contact your program officer for assistance.
  • J-2 visa holders (spouses and dependents of J-1) ARE eligible for a SSN only after receiving employment authorization. Please check with an ISSO advisor if you have questions about J-2 work permission.