Social Security

Social Security Numbers

F-1 and J-1 international students, scholars and Foreign Nationals sponsored by Rutgers have the ability to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) once they have secured approved on-campus or off-campus employment for the first time. Individuals are only granted one SSN for life, and you do not need to apply for a new SSN for each additional employer. The SSN is used mainly for tax purposes. SSNs are granted by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Our office works closely with the SSA office located in New Brunswick. 


The following individuals are eligible to apply for a SSN:

  • F-1 and J-1 students with a job offer letter and/or work permission, both on-campus and off-campus
  • J-1 visiting scholars and certain visiting research students
  • J-2 dependents with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD card)
  • H-1B Employees
  • Other individuals with an immigration status that allows employment authorization; please note our office can only advise on Rutgers supported visa types

Preparing for Employment

Learn about On-Campus or Off-Campus Employment (i.e. CPT) in our online Canvas Employment Workshops.

  • You will need to complete the Staying in Legal Status workshop and these workshops before you can obtain needed documents for your SSN application.
  • If you are not able to access the online workshop by clicking the link above, please submit an Online Workshop Access e-form via the RGlobal portal.

Additional Information

How to Apply at the New Brunswick SSA Office +

The New Brunswick SSA center, as well as all other SSA offices, are closed until further notice. ISSS has coordinated with the SSA office in New Brunswick and the following procedure is now offered for international students who are eligible to apply for a SSN.

IMPORTANT: If you are not located in New Brunswick, you will need to reach out to your local SSA office to ask how to apply.

Step 1)  Foreign National prepares their SSN application packet.

A complete packet must include:

- Hard copy of completed SSN application
- Original valid passport with valid  visa inside
- Printed I-94 record 
- For F-1 Students, most recent original I-20 document
- For J-1 Exchange Visitors, most recent DS-2019
- For H-1B Employees, the I-797 approval notice
- (F-1/ J-1 students only) Rutgers Global Social Security Letter, signed by the student’s Designated School Official (DSO), obtained from the RGlobal Portal
- Proof of employment:
      - If on-campus, On-campus Verification Letter
      - If off-campus, job offer letter from employer and I-20 that shows CPT/OPT recommendation on it
      - For J-1 scholars and H-1B employees, an appointment letter from your academic department

Step 2) Call the SSA office at 877-803-6313 to schedule an appointment.

Step 3) At the scheduled appointment time, the student must come to the SSA office alone and be prepared to wear a mask before entering the building. The address in New Brunswick is:

Social Security Administration
550 Jersey Ave, Suite 200
New Brunswick NJ 08901

Step 4) An SSA staff will review the SSN application packet and, if everything is in order, will provide a receipt notice for the application. The student should receive their SSN card in the mail within 7-14 days. 

Please note:
- It is not possible to apply online.
- Applications for replacement cards are not being accepted at this time.

SSN Denial Letters +

SSN denial letters are sometimes needed, such as to apply for a driver’s license.

Please complete the SSN application and mail it to the SSA. There is no need to submit any additional documentation like the I-20 or I-94 if applying for the denial letter. Please mail the application to:

Social Security Administration
ATTN: Mrs. Diouf
550 Jersey Ave, Suite 200
New Brunswick NJ 08901

You will receive the denial letter in the mail.

Additional Information and Resources +

Please note: Some of the following resources are external links, outside Rutgers.

FAQs for SSN
International Students and Social Security Numbers
Study in the States
Rutgers Global tax webpage