Cal Poly

Social Security

You must have an offer of employment for a paid position to be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). Refer to the “International Students And Social Security Numbers” guide provided by “The Social Security Administration” to learn more about applying for a SSN. There is no fee to apply for a SSN and processing can take between two weeks to several months.

Application Process

  1. Obtain a job offer letter from your employer:
    • On department letter head
    • Addressed to you
    • Signed by the person authorized to hire you
    • Including:
      • Your name, department name, job title, brief job description, start date of job, end date (if applicable), number of hours of work per week, amount of pay, supervisor name and supervisor contact information.
    • For On-Campus employment, bring the job offer letter to the International Center Front Desk in Building 52, E-32. The International Center will issue a letter confirming your visa status and eligibility.
    • J-1 visa On-Campus employment also submit the J-1 Work Information Form
  2. Take the following documents with you to the Social Security Office:
    • Employment offer letter
    • International Center letter (on-campus work only)
    • Original I-20 or DS-2019 form
    • Passport
    • I-94 copy (Refer to this website to retrieve your I-94 electronically)
  3. Submit your application in person at any Social Security Office. The local office is located at 3240 S. Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo. Call (855) 207-4865 for hours.
    • Complete the application form SS-5 provided at the Social Security Office or print it out before going to the office.
    • Question 1 of the form “Name To Be Shown on Card”- enter your name exactly as it appears on your passport:
      • First name: First name after the characters ">>" on the bottom of your passport
      • Full Middle name (if applicable): Other name/s after “>>”. No not use initials unless this is how it appears on your passport.
      • Last name (surname): Name/s appearing before the characters ">>" excluding the country code.
      • Do not enter initials for any names unless this is how it appears on your passport.
    • Question 5 – check box for Legal Alien Allowed to Work
    • Question 16 – The card will be mailed to this address

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© 2015 California Polytechnic State University Cal Poly International Center
Building 52, Room E32
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Phone: (805) 756-1477
Fax: (805) 756-5484
international@calpoly.edu