Applying for A Social Security Number (SSN)

A Social Security number (SSN) is a unique identifier issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA Office accepts walk-in applications. There is no need to call or make an appointment online.

Important Notes

  • You can apply for the SSN after you receive a job offer and have been present in the U.S. for 10 days.
  • Please make sure your SEVIS check-in has been completed before you start the application.
  • Put a valid U.S. address on the SSN application form because the SSN card will be mailed to you.
  • Do not mail original documents to the SSA Office.

Visit the SSA office

We recommend international students to visit this SSA office:

Address: 1330 Monroe Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm

Office number: 866-336-2212

National toll-free number: 800-772-1213

You are recommended to arrive before 2pm if you want to receive a physical receipt on the same day. If you arrive after 2pm, your case may be processed on the next business day and you will receive the receipt by mail.

Bring these documents to the SSA office

Bring ALL the required documents in original version, not photocopies. These are the documents that you need to bring:

  • SSN application, completed and signed in ink
    • Download Application for a Social Security Card HERE.
  • Official job offer letter
  • Employment Information Form signed by your employer (It is highly recommended to be included in the application to ensure you have all the infomration needed by the SSA office.)
    • Download HERE. Go to “Forms For Current Students"
    • If you are hired by University of Memphis, the EIN is 62-6048540
  • Proof of your F-1 student status letter signed by the DSO. Request HERE.
  • Passport with US visa
  • Most recent I-94
  • Most recent Form I-20
  • Any other documents deemed necessary by the SSA Office

For more information about the required documents, please click HERE. Choose “Noncitizen” under “Citizenship of the person the card is for”.

Receive SSN card

The SSN card will be mailed to you. Normally, it takes 2-3 weeks for the SSN to arrive. Make sure to provide a valid U.S. mailing address in the application. Sign the SSN card when you receive it.