How do I apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)?

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F-1 students

First, determine your eligibility for an SSN.

You must first have a job offer letter from an on-campus employer, or authorization (see the F-1 Employment page) to work off-campus under Curricular Practical Training or Optional Practical Training.

Step 1:

Request the Social Security Letter from ISS (you will need a copy of your job offer letter for on-campus employment). The SSN Letter Request can be found on Terra Dotta.

We will notify you via email to pick up your letter.

Step 2:

Apply at the Social Security Administration office using the following documents:

Once you have obtained your SSN, take it to the Registrar’s Office, 333 East Campus Mall, to update their records.

J-1 students

First, determine your eligibility for a SSN.

Step 1:

Get permission to work from the sponsor listed on page 1, Section 2 of your DS-2019.

If University of Wisconsin-Madison is your sponsor (program number P-1-00105 listed page 1, Section 2 on your DS-2019), complete the application on Terra Dotta called “On Campus Employment” to apply for the on-campus work permission letter.

Please allow two weeks for processing. ISS will email you when your letter is available for pick-up.

If you have a different sponsor, you will need to procure a permission letter for on-campus employment from them before you can proceed.

Step 2:

Apply at the Social Security Administration office using the following documents:

Once you have obtained your SSN, take it to the Registrar’s Office, 333 East Campus Mall, to update their records.