Social Security Number Requirements


International students, scholars, and visitors will need to obtain either a Social Security number issued by the Social Security Administration or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service for federal tax purposes if they are receiving payments from the University of Minnesota. Which number they need depends on whether the nonresident is hired as an employee or is receiving some other type of payment.

If the nonresident is not eligible for employment, but receiving payments for the University, see ITIN - Individual Taxpayer ID Number.

U.S. Social Security Number Requirements

A Social Security number is required if the international visitor is authorized to work and has a job at the University of Minnesota. The student or visitor can apply on or after their first day of employment. The Social Security Office will not accept applications before the person actually starts to work. The Form SS-5, Application for Social Security Card, will need to be completed at the local Social Security Administration office.

Social Security Administration Offices:

  • 1811 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis
  • Sibley Building Suite 800, 190 5th Street East, St. Paul
  • 5215 Industrial Boulevard, Edina
  • 3220 County Road 10, Brooklyn Center
  • 130 W. Superior Street, Suite 400, Duluth, MN
  • 1103 Broadway Street, Alexandria, MN
  • 402 Demers Avenue, Suite 300, Grand Forks, ND
  • 2443 Clare Lane NE, Suite 100, Rochester, MN

Office hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone: 800-772-1213

Completing an I-9 at the University

If international employees don't already have a Social Security number, they are not required to apply for a Social Security number before they complete their I-9. However, they should be strongly encouraged to apply for their SSN within 10 days of their employment start date. A Social Security number is required for employment, and foreign nationals will not be able to claim tax treaty benefits until they have received and reported their SSN. They will also need their SSN for many personal transactions such as opening a bank account and filing a tax return.

You must show the following documents to complete the Social Security application:

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid I-94 card
  • I-20 / DS-2019 / I-797
  • One other piece of identification – student ID card, driver’s license, etc.

They may also need other materials, depending on their visa status:

  • F-1 visa holders, besides showing all the above documentation, must also show evidence that on-campus employment has already been secured. The department must complete the Verification of F-1 Student's On-Campus Job (pdf) form.
  • J-1 students with University of Minnesota listed in Item two of their DS-2019 must go to ISSS in 190 Humphrey Center and request a “J-1 employment authorization letter” verifying full-time enrollment and employment authorization at the U of Minnesota. J-1 students must submit this letter in addition to the standard documents listed above. If not sponsored by the University of Minnesota, the letter must come from the student’s official sponsor.

More Information

For more information on getting a Social Security number, see the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) websites.

Important to Remember: The name on the international visitor's passport and immigration documents must match the name on the Social Security card.