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UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars


A Social Security Number (SSN) is required to receive wages, file taxes, and be eligible for some types of government services in the U.S. A Social Security Number is a nine-digit number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary workers by the Social Security Administration. Like your passport, this document should be stored in a safe location and not carried on you.


F-1 Students

F-1 students are only eligible for a SSN if they have a paid job offer through on-campus employment or authorized off-campus employment. Further details and steps to apply for an SSN.

J-1 Students

J-1 students are eligible to apply for a SSN after they have completed visa check-in requirements. Please visit DCISS in-person to submit a Social Security Support Letter Request. Your Social Security Support Letter will be ready for pick up 3 business days after the date of your submission. Once you receive DCISS’s support letter, you will take the support letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to apply for the SSN. Detailed instructions on the location of the SSA and specific documentation to bring to the SSA will be included with your support letter. Note: J-1 Scholars are not required to obtain a Social Security Support letter from DCISS to apply for a SSN.

How to Obtain

  • Find a Job
  • For F-1 visa holders only, J-1 visa holders can apply for one without a job
  • Complete an Application for a Social Security Card ( Form SS-5 ).
  • Go to Social Security Administration
  • Take all necessary original paperwork (application, passport, and visa documents) with you to the Social Security Administration. You must wait at least 10 days from your arrival to the U.S. before applying for a SSN.
  • Address: 11500 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90064.
  • Phone: 1-800-772-1213.

For more information:

Locate your nearest, assigned Social Security Administration Office.

Related Information

Social Security Administration
Address: 11500 W. Olympic Boulevard, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Phone: 1-800-772-1213