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 and paying taxes.

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.

We recommend that International Students apply for a SSN 14 days after their initial or most recent entry to the United States in their current status.

If you are seeking a letter of denial for the application of a Massachusetts Learner's Permit/Driver's License/State ID, please go to a Social Security Administration office with your immigration documents and apply for a SSN. Upon review that you are not eligible for a SSN, a denial letter will be issued. This can be used in lieu of a SSN for the process of applying for a Learner's Permit or Driver's License.

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

       You need to upload one of the following documents:

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

(2) Visit the nearest Social Security Administration Office

(3) Fill out the form 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 form I-9 and identification to GSAS in Kutz. 

Students receiving Heller stipends should bring their completed form I-9 and identification to Heller. 

Students receiving IBS stipends should bring their completed form I-9 and identification to IBS.