Social Security for International Students

Apply for Social Security Card

After you check in with your sponsor, you need to apply for a social security card.

If you do not validate yourself in SEVIS within the 72 hour required timeframe after arrival in the USA you will have a delay in receiving your Social Security number. Your employer must have your Social Security number to report your earnings to the Internal Revenue Service. (IRS).  

Social Security Office
11706 Jefferson Ave, Newport News, VA 23606

Social Security Office Hours
Monday 9AM–4PM
Tuesday 9AM–4PM
Wednesday 9AM–12PM
Thursday 9AM–4PM
Friday 9AM–4PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

When Applying for your Social Security Number, you must bring the following:

  • Your passport with J-1 Visa
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record (you can get yours here online)   
  • DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status
  • It will be a much faster process if you have the application completed in advance. The application is available online

After applying, SSA will give you a letter stating that you have applied. Give a copy of this letter to your employer. You may begin working before you receive your Social Security Card.

It is illegal for an employer to withhold your wages because you don’t have your SS Card yet. You must be paid for the time you work, regardless of whether or not you have been assigned a SS number.

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