U.S. Social Security Card

Who is eligible?

  • All J-1 scholars
  • J-2 spouses with permission to work from immigration (EAD card)
  • All H-1B, TN, O-1 scholars
  • J-1 students, with letter of permission to work from sponsor (either Yale or outside organization, ie: Fulbright)
  • F-1 students who have secured on campus employment, are receiving for service fellowships, or working off-campus with OPT or CPT


What is it?

  • A Social Security Number (SSN) is used by employers and employees for the purpose of reporting individual employee earnings for tax purposes only.
  • The SSN is valid for life, so you only need to apply once.
  • The temporary number assigned by Yale to new international students and scholars (e.g., 900-00-0000) is NOT a valid U.S. SSN.


Why do I need it?

  • You must have a SSN if you will receive a salary or stipend from Yale.
  • You will need a SSN (or, alternatively, an ITIN) to file a U.S. income tax return for each calendar year for which you spent any period of time in the U.S.
  • SSNs are often used for a variety of unoffical purposes, such as opening telephone, utility, or bank/credit card accounts. While having a SSN is convenient for these reasons, it is not required. If you have difficulty opening a bank account or other types of accounts because you do not have a SSN, you may want to speak to a supervisor or seek a different vendor.

How to Apply

For specific application instructions, select your immigration status below:

ITIN — Individual Taxpayer ID Number

Foreign nationals who are not eligible to work, and therefore not eligible for an SSN, can apply for the ITIN. PhD students receiving non-service fellowships that are from a country where they would benefit from a tax treaty may apply for this number upon their arrival in the U.S. Please see our instructions on how to apply.


Social Security Number

Contact Information

Social Security Administration
150 Court Street
4th Floor
Open Monday-Friday
9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
[map this address]

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PDF Documents

Social Security Forms