Social Security Requirements—Nonresident Aliens

Overview

International students, scholars, and visitors receiving payments from the University will need to get either a Social Security number from the Social Security Administration or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the Internal Revenue Service for federal tax purposes. Which number you need depends on whether you're hired as an employee or are being paid some other way.

If you're a nonresident who is not eligible for employment but are being paid by the University, see ITIN—Individual Taxpayer ID Number.

U.S. Social Security Number Requirements

As an international visitor, you will need a Social Security number if you're authorized to work at the University. Whether a student or visitor, you can apply on or after your first day of employment. The Social Security office won't accept applications before you start to work. You will need to complete Form SS-5 Application for Social Security Card at a local Social Security Administration office:

  • 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
Website: www.ssa.gov

Completing an I-9 at the University

You'll need to apply for a number with the Social Security Administration before completing the I-9 process at the Job Center or Payroll Services (just show your receipt for a Social Security number application). You will need to show these 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.

You may also need other materials, depending on your visa status:

  • F-1 visa holders, besides showing all the above documentation, must show evidence that you already have an on-campus job. Your department will give you a completed Verification of F-1 Student's On-Campus Job (pdf) form.
  • J-1 students with “University of Minnesota” listed in Item 2 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 University. J-1 students must submit this letter in addition to the standard documents listed above. If you're not sponsored by the University of Minnesota, the letter must come from your official sponsor.

More Information

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

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