CampusLife

International Student & Scholar Services

Questions?

  • Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
    202-885-3350
    Fax: 202-885-3354
    Butler Pavilion, Room 410

    Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ISSS advisors are available at the front desk for walk-in appointments.

    Bakar, Senem S.
    Director, International Student and Scholar Services

Mailing Address

J-1 Student with DS-2019 issued by American University

J-1 Student Checklist for Obtaining a Social Security Card

STEP 1:
Obtain proof of employment and proof of work authorization according to the type of job listed below:

On-campus job:
(to get a Social Security number for on-campus work you must show both your eligibility to work and proof that you have employment)
  • On-campus employment letter fromAU Human Resources
  • Signature from J-1 program Responsible Officer in ISSS on Human Resources letter.
Academic Training job:
  • Letter authorizing you forAcademic Training from your J-1 program Responsible Officer in ISSS, on letterhead with original signature

STEP 2:
Collect the following documents and take them to the Social Security Administration office (listed below) to apply for your card.

  • SS-5 Application for a Social Security Card
  • Proof of employment authorization (see step 1)Proof of employment if you are employed on-campus (see step 1)
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-94 card (small white card, usually attached to your passport near your visa), or proof of change of status to F-1 or J-1
  • Passport
  • Visa (F-1 or J-1)


In addition to looking at your documents, a clerk may interview you and ask a few routine questions.
All Social Security Offices are open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except federal holidays. Be prepared for a long wait.
Following are locations of a few of the Washington, DC, area offices. You may go to any office regardless of residence.

Washington, DC:
2100 M Street, NW (south of Dupont Circle at the corner of 21st Street and M Street)

Maryland:
51 A Monroe Street, Rockville

Virginia:

1815 N. Ft. Myer Drive, Suite 200, Arlington

There are many other Social Security offices in the region. Please see the Social Security Office Locator for additional locations.

STEP 3:
Your Social Security card should be mailed to you within 3 months. In the meantime your employer's Human Resources office will probably want to see your receipt showing that you have applied for a card.

STEP 4:
After showing your Social Security Card to your employer put it away in a safe place.The Social Security Administration advises that you should not carry your card with you.

  • Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Social Security numbers are often used in cases of identity theft. Be cautious in sharing the number with anyone, and keep the card in a safe place with other important documents, rather than carrying it with you and risking losing it or having it stolen.
For more information, please see the Social Security website page on Identity Theft.

  • Replacement of a Lost Social Security Card

If you lose your Social Security card you will need to follow the same procedure to apply for a replacement card, which will have the same number. Note that you will again need to show current proof of employment and proof of work eligibility.

For other information, including name changes, please see the Social Security website.