Social Security Number Information

All U.S. employers require employees to have a Social Security Number (SSN).  This unique nine digit identification number is issued by the U.S. government and is necessary for getting paid, paying taxes, getting a driver's license, obtaining credit cards and much more.

Once you obtain your SSN, you must guard it carefully.  The Social Security Number is a permanent ID number.  Only share your SSN with individuals or organizations whom you believe are trustworthy and have a valid reason for needing your social security number.


Obtaining an SSN

To apply for a Social Security Number (SSN), please do the following:

(1) request a Social Security Number Letter (SSN Letter) from the ISSO - when requesting the letter, you must bring one of the following:

  • International Student Employment Form from SFS / Student Employment Office (for students with on-campus jobs)
  • Fellowship Letter (for PhD students)
  • Official appointment letter (for scholars/researchers)

(2) visit the nearest SSA Office located in Waltham:

135 Beaver Street

Waltham, MA 02452

SSA business hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9am-3pm and  Wednesday, 9am-12pm.

When submitting your SSN application, be sure to take the following documents with you:

  • Valid passport with U.S. Entry visa, and Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-94
    • If you have a Paper Form I-94, bring the original card
    • If you were issued an Electronic Form I-94, print it from www.cbp.gov/I94 and submit it, along with the Entry Stamp in your passport
  • Social Security Number Letter (SSN Letter) issued by the ISSO
  • One of the following:
    • International Student Employment Form from SFS / Student Employment Office (for students with on-campus jobs)
    • Fellowship Letter (for PhD students)
    • Official Appointment Letter (for scholars/researchers)

(3) Fill out the I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification)

In order to obtain payment for a job on campus or receive your fellowship stipend, you must be able to present original identification to the University that satisfies the requirements of Form I-9 . Please review the instructions to ensure you bring appropriate identification when completing the form.

Forms for campus jobs should be returned to Student Financial Services.

Students receiving GSAS stipends should bring their completed I9 and identification to GSAS in Kutz. 

Students receiving Heller stupends should bring their completed I9 and identification to Heller. 

Students receiving IBS stipends should bring their completed I9 and identification to IBS.