Social Security Information
The social security number is used for employment purposes in the United States in order to report wages to the government. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will issue a social security number for employment purposes only. If you have problems in establishing a bank account, renting an apartment, opening a cell phone account, please see your international student adviser.
The Social Security Administration will require that you prove your identity, age, immigration status, and eligibility to work. In addition, F-1 students must provide evidence of on-campus employment from the campus department and verification of enrollment status from the Directorate of International Student Advising (DISA). J-1 students must provide evidence of employment eligibility from the sponsor: if Penn State issued the DS-2019, the Directorate of International Student Advising will issue the letter; if a programming agency such as IIE or AMIDEAST issued the DS-2019, that agency must issue the letter.
SSA regulations require two letters in addition to the other required documents: one from the hiring department, and the other from the Directorate of International Student Advising (DISA).
Along with the social security application, you must submit the following documents:
- Letter (see department letter template below) from the on-campus employer on unit letterhead paper including:
- identity of student employee
- job description
- anticipated or actual employment start date
- employer identification number (EIN)—the Penn State EIN is 24-6000376
- employer contact information, including the telephone number and the name of the F-1 student’s immediate supervisor
- original signature, signatory’s title, date
- Letter from the Directorate of International Student Advising verifying student status, full-time enrollment, eligibility of employment, and employment. To request a letter, please fill out the Request for Social Security Letter in iStart. NOTE: With new rules and procedures, DISA cannot issue this letter until the student is in registered status because the SSA checks the Department of Homeland Security database for registration information.
- I-20 or DS-2019
Social Security Administration
901 University Drive, Suite 2
State College, PA 16801
Office Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Map of US Social Security Adm
Department Letter Template
Students must have on-campus employment verification from the hiring department. The verification must be typed on official school or department letterhead and contain the employer's original signature.
Dear Social Security Administration:
This letter is evidence of on-campus employment for: _________________________________________________________ (name of student).
Type of job (e.g. wait staff, library aide, research assistant, etc.): _____
Start Date: _____
Number of Hours Per Week: _____
Employer Identification Number (EIN): 24-6000376
Employer Telephone Number: _____
Student's Immediate Supervisor: _____
Employer Signature (Original Signature; no photocopy): _____
Signatory's Name and Title: _____