Social Security


Helpful Links:
- U.S. embassies abroad
- SEVIS Fee
- Change of status

A Social Security Number is a number assigned to you by the United States Social Security Administration and is assigned only to individuals who are authorized to work in the United States.

Students at the University on F-1 or J-1 visas are eligible for a Social Security number. F-1 students must have a job offer at the time they apply. J-2 dependents are eligible and can apply for a Social Security Number if they have received work authorization from USCIS. F-2 dependents are not eligible for a Social Security number.

In addition, the State of South Carolina requires you to have a Social Security Number before you can apply for a driver's license. For an F-2 dependent driver's license, a letter from the Social Security Administration is required stating the dependent is not eligible for a Social Security Number. Similarly, if an F-1 student is not eligible for a Social Security Number a letter of ineligibility is also required to obtain a driver’s license.

Note: Students need to apply for social security only one time. The number you receive will be your social security number forever.

Where to Apply

Social Security Administration
Strom Thurmond Federal Building
1835 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Website: https://secure.ssa.gov


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What do I need to apply?

For students with on-campus employment:

A completed Social Security application, an employment offer letter from USC stamped and signed by International Student Service office, your passport, visa, I-94, and your I-20.

For students with CPT work authorization:

A completed Social Security application, your passport, visa, I-94, and your I-20 with the CPT work authorization.

For students with OPT work authorization:

A completed Social Security application, your passport, visa, I-94, and your I-20 and EAD card.

Students on J-1 or J-2 visas need:
A completed Social Security application, a letter from your sponsor, your passport, visa, I-94, your DS-2019 and an EAD card if a J-2 authorized to work.

 Click here for the Social Security application or pick one up at the International Student Services office.