Social Security Numbers and Cards

Social Security Numbers

F-1 international students must have a job to apply for a social security number. J-1 international students do not need a job to apply for a social security number. However, since the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires P/DSOs and RO/AROs to verify enrollment of their international students as part of the social security card process, J-1 international students will be required to follow the same procedures as F-1 international students. Regardless of status in the U.S., all new international students to Champlain are advised to wait 10 days after arriving in the U.S. before applying for a social security card.

Social Security Cards

The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that social security numbers are issued to international students only for the purpose of employment. Therefore, the SSA requires schools to verify that students are in need of a social security number for employment by issuing a letter addressed to the SSA office.

Before OIE issues a verification letter for the SSA, an international student (F-1 or J-1) must make an appointment with the Assistant Director, International Student Services and bring to the appointment a letter on company letterhead with an official signature from either an on- or off-campus prospective employer offering the student a job.

After the appointment, the international student will receive the following items to take to the nearest SSA office with the official employment offer letter:

  • OIE Verification Letter
  • On-campus Employment Authorization Form
  • Completed Social Security Card Application

The Burlington social security office is located at:

Social Security Administration Office
58 Pearl Street
Burlington, VT 05401
802-951-6753

Which forms should I take with me:

  • Passport
  • Current F-1/J-1Visa
  • Form I-94 stamp in passport (current "F-1 D/S") OR I-94 printout
  • Form I-20/DS-2019
  • Letter from your employer indicating that a position has been offered to you
  • Letter from the Assistant Director, International Student Services indicating your eligibility for a Social Security Card
  • Social Security Card Number Application — this can be obtained on-line at http://socialsecurity.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf.

What Do I Do After My Appointment with Social Security Office: 

  1. You will receive a white receipt from social security. This enables you to work immediately; however, in order to be paid, you need to also process paperwork for the I-9.
  2. Take all the documents that you showed to Social Security for the card and go to the ESC to process your I-9 paperwork.
  3. Send Jackie Greer in Payroll via e-mail (jgreer@champlain.edu) a copy of the white receipt.
  4. You will receive your social security card in approximately 10 days in the mail to the address you indicated on your social security card application.
  5. When your card arrives, please meet with the Assistant Director, International Student Services in OIE and bring your social security card. OIE will make sure that Payroll is informed of your card number for tax purposes.
  6. Do not laminate the card - it makes it invalid.
  7. Do not place your social security card in your wallet - memorize the number and place the card with your important documents like your passport, I-20, etc.
  8. Your Social Security Number is your identity in the United States - only give out this number to official sources.