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The Social Security Number Application Process and Keeping your SSN Safe from Fraud
In order to be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number you must:
Be in the United States. New students should wait until they've entered the U.S before trying to apply for a Social Security Number. Students entering the U.S. for the first time in F or J student status must submit the immigration reporting form prior to applying for a SSN. Transfer students from another U.S. school must first be registered for classes and then in SEVIS by ISSS before applying. If your SEVIS record is not "active" the Social Security office will not be able to verify your status with the USCIS.
If you are sponsored by a third party (such as Fulbright), ISSS cannot assist you with the SSN process — please contact your sponsor for instructions.
You will need a "social security number support letter" printed and hand signed by your employer and hand signed by an ISSS advisor. (The Social Security Administration does not accept digital signatures!)
You will then proceed to the office of Social Security on the day of your appointment with the SSA with the following items:
Social Security office:
At your SSN appointment, be sure to obtain a receipt to prove that you have applied. You should receive the SSN card in the mail within one to two months.
Make sure to keep your SSN secure. Never email your SSN. If the wrong person gets your SSN, they can spend a lot of money in your name!!
If you have an on campus job at Temple, you will need to speak with Human Resources in order to use the receipt from Social Security to begin receiving payments from Temple.
Once you receive your Social Security Card (approximately 2-6 weeks via mail) update the following:
If you do not receive the card within 60 days, return to the Social Security office to inquire or call the toll-free phone number 1-800-772-1213. Do NOT apply for a second card; you should have only one SSN in your lifetime. If you continue to experience difficulties obtaining the card, contact ISSS
It is possible that your SSN will be requested for different activities: banking, utilities, etc. However, we recommend asking if other forms of identification can be used instead of the SSN. Employment is the only time that you should use your SSN.
If you do not qualify for a Social Security Number (are not authorized to work in the US and/or do not have a job in the US) but are continued to be asked for one, then you can call the Social Security Administration Office and explain that you do not qualify for a SSN. They should give you a "Social Security rejection letter."
The telephone number for the office in Center City is 866-613-3969. They are not always able to answer the phone immediately. Please continue to contact the office using the telephone number provided. If you will apply at a different office, find the telephone number at Field Office Locator | SSA.
You are not eligible to apply for a Social Security Number unless you are authorized for employment in the United States.