Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Social Security

A student in F-1 status must possess one of the following to apply for a Social Security number:

  1. Evidence of an offer for on-campus employment; OR
  2. Authorization to engage in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) on page 3 of the I-20 form; OR
  3. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued by Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).

Be aware that having a Social Security number does not authorize employment. In fact, the card issued to you will read “valid for work only with the CIS authorization” because only USCIS may grant employment authorization. Once this number is issued, it will serve the purpose of tracking your income for tax purposes. Please safeguard this very important document and keep it with your passport.

The Social Security Administration web site is also a useful resource: www.ssa.gov

If you are in one of these categories, you will need to take the following items to a Social Security Administration office to apply for a number:

  1. On Campus Employment
    • Valid passport
    • Valid I-94 card print out from here:   www.cbp.gov/I94 (Forms I-94 are no longer being handed out in paper form.)
    • Current I-20
    • All previously held I-20 forms
    • Employment Verification Form (completed by your supervisor and Dean Haring)
  2. Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
    • Valid passport
    • Valid I-94 card print out from here:   www.cbp.gov/I94 (Forms I-94 are no longer being handed out in paper form.)
    • All previously held I-20 forms
    • Original I-20 showing authorization for CPT employment (on page 3)
  3. Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Severe Economic Hardship (SEH)
    • Valid passport
    • Valid I-94 card print out from here:   www.cbp.gov/I94 (Forms I-94 are no longer being handed out in paper form.)
    • Current I-20
    • All previously held I-20 forms
    • Valid EAD issued by the DHS

The SSA must confirm your status with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and it may take a few weeks before a Social Security number is issued to you. If the SSA is unable to confirm your Status with DHS, they will still issue you a receipt showing that you applied for the card. But, it will also address the delay stating that it could take up to four weeks to verify your documents.