Getting a Social Security Number

A social security number is a federal tax identification number used to file U.S. and state income tax forms and to apply for other federal benefits. International Students have a process that they must follow if they receive a job offer. If you are studying at ECC as a student with an F-1 nonimmigrant status and have received an offer for on-campus employment or are legally authorized to work in off-campus employment, you may apply for a social security number from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Get more information by visiting ssa.gov/ssnumber

The closest Social Security Administration Office to campus is at:

790 Fletcher Drive
Elgin, IL 60123
847-742-0596

To qualify, you must prove one of the following:

  • You have received an offer for on-campus employment. You must present a letter from the DSO certifying your eligibility for on-campus employment (this letter is generated by the Center for International Education and Programs and must be signed by the DSO). Learn about ECC on-campus employment
  • A letter from your on-campus employer verifying employment. This letter is produced by the Scholarships and Financial Aid Office and must be signed by the Director of Financial Aid. Learn more at the ECC Financial Aid Office
  • The student has been authorized by a DSO for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to engage in an approved cooperative education or internship program. You must present your Form I-20 showing your authorization for curricular practical training on page three of your I-20. 
  • You have been authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Severe Economic Hardship by USCIS. You must present your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card issued by USCIS. Read details in Form I-765 "Application for Employment Authorization".

If you meet one of these requirements, you need to prepare the following documents to apply for a social security number.

  • Complete a social security card application, Form SS-5-FS "Application for a Social Security Card (Outside of the U.S.)".
  • Get the proper employment authorization documents, as indicated above. 
  • Get a letter from the DSO verifying your F-1 student visa status and full-time enrollment at ECC.
  • Get a copy of your current original Form I-20.
  • Bring your original valid passport, and one additional document establishing your identity.
  • A copy of I-94.
  • If you have changed your immigration status after entering the U.S., you will need to show your approval notice for change of status to F-1.
  • If you have transferred your immigration status after entering the U.S., you will need to show your approval notice for change of status to F-1.
  • If you have transferred to ECC from another U.S. college or university, you will need to show all original Form I-20’s for any previous school attended.