In order to be paid for either on- or off-campus employment, it is necessary to have a Social Security Number (SSN), but an SSN by itself does not authorize you to begin work. If you are in F-1 or J-1 status, participating in unauthorized employment is a violation of your immigration status. For information regarding employment rules and responsibilities, please visit the Maintaining F-1 Status or Maintaining J-1 Status page.
Process for On-campus Employment
- You will need to complete a Social Security application form, which can be found on the Social Security Administration’s page or at the SSA office
- Social Security Letter from International Admissions and Student Services
- Employment Confirmation Letter from your hiring supervisor
- A valid passport
- Form I-20 (with work authorization on the second page if using CPT/OPT) or Form DS-2019 (with work authorization on the first page if using Academic Training)
- Printout of your electronic I-94 record (or paper I-94, when applicable)
- Visa that corresponds to your nonimmigrant status (F-1 or J-1) or previous visa and I-797 Approval Notice if you successfully changed status in the United States
Standard processing time for the issuance of a Social Security Number is approximately two weeks, though this could take longer if your application goes through administrative processing. Once processed, a Social Security card with your Social Security Number will be mailed to you. You may not engage in employment until you have received your card and have valid work authorization.
Recommended Local Office and Hours of Operation
Clifton SSA Office Address: 935 Allwood Rd., Clifton, NJ 07012
Office Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wed.: 9 a.m – 12 p.m;
Sat. and Sun.: Closed