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International Student Office - Social Security Number



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Social Security Number

In the U.S, a Social Security number (SSN) is a 9-digit number issued to citizens and eligible non-citizens. Its primary purpose is to track individuals for taxation purposes. You can apply for a SSN only with a job offer and an employer cannot pay you until you provide them with your SSN. According to the Social Security Administration, your job offer for on-campus employment must be authorized by a Designated School Official and the Department of Homeland Security in order to apply for a Social Security number.

Once you have been offered a position, your hiring supervisor will complete the necessary paperwork and send it to the appropriate hiring office. You will also need to complete an I-9 form in the International Student Office. Once the appropriate office receives all of this paperwork (Human Resources for Graduate Assistants or Student Employment for student workers), they will send an ENDORSEMENT LETTER to ISO for verification of your status and employment eligibility.

Once ISO receives this letter, we will verify your status, stamp the letter, and notify you by your WKU email id that your stamped endorsement letter is ready to be picked up. This process could take up to 2 weeks depending upon how quickly ISO receives the letter. Note: The stamped endorsement letter is necessary to file for your Social Security number. When you come to our office to pick up your letter, we will also give you a handout on what documents to take with you to the Social Security Administration and the remaining process.

If your application is approved, you will receive your Social Security Card within a few weeks. Keep your Social Security card in a safe place - it is difficult, time consuming and costly to replace.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14