You must be physically present in the US for at least 10 days prior to applying for an SSN. International students who are located outside the United States and have no social security number are not able to be hired.
To apply for a Social Security Number (SSN), please do the following:
International Student On-Campus Employment Form (for students with on-campus jobs) OR
Fellowship award letter (PhD students only) OR
Job offer letter (for students, scholars, researchers) OR
J-1 sponsored student letter issued by visa sponsor
Once you receive an SSN, you must complete Form I-9 with the Office of Student Financial Services before you may begin working. You should bring your Social Security card, passport and all visa documents with you to complete Form I-9.
** Due to COVID-19, Social Security Administration offices are closed to visitors until further notice. However, they are still accepting phone calls and processing applications. Locate your nearest SSA Office using the Social Security Office Locator. If your closest SSA Office is located in Waltham we have included instructions below that we have received from these offices about the current process for applying for a SSN. Although we have procedures listed here for the Waltham office, we still highly recommend calling the office first to confirm that the procedure is still accurate. Please note that the Cambridge office is only accepting applications from current Cambridge residents.
Before following the process below, we highly recommend that you call the Waltham Social Security Office to confirm that this procedure is accurate and to make them aware that you are planning on mailing your documents.
As you would be mailing important documents, especially your passport, it is advisable to choose a mailing option that includes trackable shipping so that you are be able to track where your documents are located at all times. Furthermore, it could be useful to include a trackable return envelope with your application for the Social Security Office to use when returning your documents. This way, you'll also be able to track your documents as they are returned to you.
Mail the following documents via certified mail:
- SSN application form
- Valid passport and visa stamp
- Current, endorsed I-20 or DS 2019
- Evidence of employment opportunity: Please include the documents listed above under either on-campus employment or off-campus employment, depending on your employment situation.
The address to mail the application to is:
Waltham Social Security Office
135 Beaver St. Suite 120
Waltham, MA 02452
If your closest SSA Office is not in Waltham or Cambridge, we recommend giving that office a call to see what your options are for requesting a SSN.
If your application is accepted, you will receive a receipt confirming that you have applied for a SSN and your SSN card will arrive in the mail within 2 weeks. Please note that there might be delays in receiving your SSN.