Social Security Number

A Social Security number is a unique, 9-digit number issued by the US government to citizens and eligible residents. To apply for a Social Security Number, you must have a job offer or be working.

Getting a Student Employment Card and Completing the I-9 Form

The I-9 is the employment eligibility verification process.

Please review the Student Employment Office’s FAQ section, International Students- Employment Eligibility.

Applying for a Social Security Number

The Social Security Administration (SSA) office is open to the public. Students may apply for their SSN in person. The SSA requests that students apply online and then schedule an appointment to show their documentation in person within 45 days of their online application submission. Start your application online

To apply for an SSN, please follow the instructions below:

  • Working on-campus: Drop off your Hire Form, signed in blue ink by your RIT employer, to ISS. You can pick it up after 48 hours. SSA will not accept your form if it does not have blue ink original (“wet”) signatures from ISS and your supervisor. Photocopied signatures are not accepted.
  • Working on Co-op: follow instructions on our CPT page to submit your Social Security Request form with your CPT I-20 request.

What to Take to the SSA office:

  • Application for Social Security Card, p.5
    • Please make sure to have your name on the address on file with the post office if you are using any other address than RIT ISS. The post office will not deliver SS cards if the name on their records does not match the name of the addressee.
  • Passport
  • I-20/DS-2019 confirming your F-1/J-1 status
  • I-94 Admission Number Information (If you have recently entered the US, please wait at least 2 weeks so that you can print I-94 and the Social Security Office can access your record.)
  • ISS-signed Hire Form with blue ink signature (if working on-campus) OR Social Security Request Letter (if beginning CPT)


Social Security Office Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Social Security Office Location:

200 East Main St, 2nd Floor
Rochester, NY 14604


After you submit your application:

Be sure the Social Security Office gives you a receipt when you apply. Your card will then be processed and mailed to the address on the receipt, typically about 2 weeks after you apply.

Remember, you may search for jobs, start a job, and even get paid while waiting for your SSN card. You can legally start work with your work authorization in place.

Getting Paid

A Social Security card will be sent to the address listed on your application approximately 2 weeks after you apply. When you have your Social Security Number, you must inform the Registrar's Office of your number.

Paychecks are available at your place of employment or by direct deposit into your bank account.

Under this process, if you have a Student Employment Office Eligibility Card, you can be hired immediately and paid. You must follow the critical SSN steps above to remain on the Payroll without interruption.