Social Security Number

? Who is eligible for a SSN?

  • F-1 students who have secured on campus employment, are receiving for-service fellowships, or working off-campus with OPT or CPT
  • All F-1 PhD students.  Make a copy of your letter of admission and obtain a letter from OISS certifying your eligibility to apply.
  • J-1 students, with letter of permission to work from sponsor (either Yale or outside organization, i.e.: Fulbright)
  • All J-1 scholars and anyone in H-1B, TN or O-1 status.
  • J-2 spouses with permission to work from immigration (EAD card)

? What is the SSN?

  • A Social Security Number (SSN) is used by employers and employees for the purpose of reporting individual employee earnings for tax purposes only.
  • The SSN is valid for life, so you only need to apply once.
  • The temporary number assigned by Yale to new international students and scholars (e.g., 900-00-0000) is NOT a valid U.S. SSN.
  • Protect your SSN.  Read more about identifty theft here.

? Why do I need it?

  • You must have a SSN if you will receive a salary or stipend from Yale.
  • You will need a SSN (or, alternatively, an ITIN) to file a U.S. income tax return for each calendar year for which you spent any period of time in the U.S.
  • If you eligible for a tax treaty benefit, you must have an SSN or an ITIN.
  • An SSN is often used for a variety of unofficial purposes, such as opening telephone, utility, or bank/credit card accounts. While having a SSN is convenient for these reasons, it is not required. If you have difficulty opening a bank account or other types of accounts because you do not have a SSN, you may want to speak to a supervisor or seek a different vendor.

? What if I'm not eligible for work?

Students receiving Yale scholarships or non-service fellowships who are not currently eligible for an SSN may apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN).

How to Apply for a SSN

For specific application instructions, select your immigration status below:

F-1 Student

On-campus Employment 

  1. Application form (Form SS-5) and letter from OISS confirming your Yale related immigration status and employment eligibility, both available at the OISS front desk.
  2. Immigration documents: valid passport, I-94 record, and your I-20 with CPT or OPT authorization.
  3. Written verification from employer or the for-service fellowship sponsor which includes the nature of the employment or fellowship, number of hours, and the date employment is expected to begin.
  • Yale College – Written verification of employment can be requested at the Student Employment Office, 246 Church Street.
  • Masters and Professional Students - Written verification can come directly from your School or from the Student Employment Office, 246 Church Street.
  • PhD students – All PhD students are eligible to apply for a social security number. Make a copy of your letter of admission and obtain a letter from OISS certifying your eligibility to apply.

On CPT or OPT

  1. Application form (Form SS-5) and letter from OISS confirming your Yale related immigration status and employment eligibility, both available at the OISS front desk.
  2. Immigration documents: valid passport, I-94 record, and your I-20 with CPT or OPT authorization.
  3. If you are on OPT, you will need to bring your Employment Authorization Card.

J-1 Exchange Visitor

  1. Application form (Form SS-5) and letter from OISS confirming your Yale related immigration status and employment eligibility, both available at the OISS front desk
  2. Immigration documents: valid passport, I-94 record, and your DS-2019.

J-2

  1. Application form (Form SS-5) available at OISS or available online.
  2. Immigration documents: valid passport, I-94 record, and your DS-2019.
  3. Employment Authorization Card.

H-1B/O-1

  1. Application form (Form SS-5) and letter from OISS confirming your Yale related immigration status and employment eligibility, both available at the OISS front desk.
  2. Immigration documents: valid passport, I-94 record, and your H-1B or O-1 approval notice.

TN

  1. Application form (Form SS-5) and letter from OISS confirming your Yale related immigration status and employment eligibility, both available at the OISS front desk.
  2. Immigration documents: valid passport and I-94 record.