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SSNs for F-1 & J-1 Students

Additional Application Materials

Since employment is not necessarily required of all academic programs, F-1 and J-1 students must document their intention to work during the SSN application process. This requires either an additional letter of eligibility or evidence of off-campus work permission. Certification of valid immigration status and SSN eligibility vary by your immigration category. You must bring one of the documents below, along with the application form and original immigration documents, in order to apply for your Social Security Number.

F-1:   Verification of F-1 On-Campus Employment letter (signed by UR hiring department & ISO)
            or I-20 showing ISO authorization for Curricular Practical Training
            or EAD card issued by USCIS for authorized Optional Practical Training

J-1:   Social Security Eligibility letter (issued by ISO or other J-1 program sponsor)
            or DS-2019 and ISO authorization letter for Academic Training


Verification of On-Campus Employment

F-1 Students: To satisfy SSN eligibility requirements for F-1 students, the ISO has developed the Verification Letter for F-1 On-Campus Employment for University departments to document on-campus employment. Students must request this letter from their UR hiring department and obtain a certification signature from ISO to document your SSN eligibility. The employer must complete the top portion of this letter with the relevant information, including the nature of the student’s job, anticipated start date, and hours per week (maximum 20 during the academic year). This is a fillable form so that required details can be input prior to printing. The letter must be printed on UR department letterhead and signed in blue ink. The letter may be forwarded for each new student directly to the ISO before their arrival, or brought to our office when current students obtain a new campus job. When we are able to verify the student's immigration status, ISO staff will sign the bottom portion of this letter and distribute to the student before they apply for the SSN.

J-1 Students: To satisfy SSN eligibility requirements for J-1 students sponsored by the University of Rochester, the ISO will issue a Social Security Eligibility letter. Students may contact ISO to request this letter. If your immigration sponsor is not the University of Rochester, please reach out to your immigration sponsor to request a Social Security Eligibility letter. Please note, students in J-1 status must also request from their immigration sponsoradditional work authorization to work on-campus in advance of their employment start date.  


Assistance with SSA & University departments

When appropriate information is available, the ISO can help to monitor your pending application with the US Social Security Administration and coordinate with other UR offices on required document copies. To take advantage of this, you will need to list the ISO as your mailing address on the SS-5 application form and supply a copy of your SSN Receipt to the ISO as soon as it is available. You may choose whether to stop in the ISO to take a copy or send the receipt by email, fax, or intercampus mail.


Focus Group participants

F-1 students who are invited to participate in a paid University Focus Group will be eligible to apply for the Social Security Number through this employment. You are required to attend an SSN Information Session with the ISO to complete required paperwork associated with the employment and application process. You may NOT pick up your SSN Eligibility Letter until you have attended one of these sessions, which are scheduled through your school. You will also be required to use the ISO as your mailing address for the SSN card. Once your SSN is issued, you must also attend the Focus Group and are responsible for cashing or depositing your payment for this job.


SSN Enumeration Event scheduled each fall (as available)

The ISO usually schedules a special session with the Social Security Administration for new UR international students each fall. Roundtrip transportation is provided from River Campus and required certification letters will be available on-site. If you are eligible for an SSN and would like to take advantage of this service, more details will be provided during your International Student Orientation. If you choose to apply on your own, you must determine your eligibility and pick-up the certification from ISO. You must then visit the local SSA during regular office hours and regular wait times will apply.