Social Security InformationTower

Applying for a Social Security Number

Any F-1 or J-1 student who will be employed by LSU or who has received authorization from International Services (IS) or USCIS to work for another employer in the U.S. must apply for a Social Security number (SSN). Receipt of this number will help to ensure that you are paid in a timely manner. Obtaining an SSN can take a month (or longer, in rare cases), so you are advised to apply as soon as you have all of the required documentation (listed below).

NOTE: Before applying for an SSN, you need to be in the U.S. for a minimum of 10 days after completing IS check-in, either at international student orientation or in 101 Hatcher Hall.

After you receive your Social Security number, you must:

  1. Notify the LSU Payroll Office in 204 Thomas Boyd Hall and provide them with a copy of your Social Security card. This is necessary in order to continue to receive payment for on-campus employment.
  2. Immediately notify your employer and your bank of your U.S. SSN.
  3. Keep your Social Security card in a safe, secure place at home along with your non-immigrant documents. Because of the possibility of identity theft, it is NOT advisable that you carry your Social Security card in your wallet in the event that your wallet is lost or stolen.

 Documents Required

 

Original Documents required of F-1s

  1. Completed SS-5 Social Security application.
  2. Original, unexpired, and most-recent I-20.
  3. Original, unexpired passport.
  4. F-1 entry visa (in passport) that was valid when you entered the U.S. (Note: The F-1 entry visa can expire once you are in the U.S.) OR, if no F-1 visa, I-797 F-1 approval notice.
  5. Small, white I-94 card (or printed I-94 record from www.cbp.gov/I94), marked F-1 and “D/S.”
  6. At least one of the following, depending on your current situation and job type:

    1. Student Workers must show Proof of LSU campus employment and DSO authorization: an original, official job offer letter from hiring department AND authorization from International Services, which will be provided in a combined letter.

      Important note: An original on-campus job summary letter must be printed on official departmental letterhead and include all of the information and be phrased exactly the same as our Sample Letter for Combined Employment Authorization (LSU Hiring Department and ISO DSO). Please make sure that you have reported to International Services with your immigration documents either via the Orientation program or as a latecomer. In order to request the DSO part of the combination letter, you must submit a Green Sheet Request Form and the original combination letter.

    2. Graduate Assistants must show two documents:

      1. Graduate Assistantship job offer letter with details of appointment and if signature is required, it must also show your signature that you have accepted the Assistantship terms.
      2. Proof of LSU campus employment and DSO authorization: an original, official job offer letter from hiring department AND authorization from International Services, which will be provided in a combined letter.

        Important note: An original on-campus job summary letter must be printed on official departmental letterhead and include all of the information and be phrased exactly the same as our Sample Letter for Combined Employment Authorization (LSU Hiring Department and ISO DSO). Please make sure that you have reported to International Services with your immigration documents either via the Orientation program or as a latecomer. In order to request the DSO part of the combination letter, you must submit a Green Sheet Request Form, the original combination letter, and a copy of your assistantship letter.

    3. Valid EAD card issued by USCIS (for OPT or Economic Hardship).
    4. Valid CPT Authorization listed on page 3 of the original I-20.

Original Documents required of J-1s

  1. Completed SS-5 Social Security application.
  2. Valid original LSU J-1 on-campus work permit (Paper form issued, approved and signed by IS).
  3. Original, unexpired, and most recent DS-2019.
  4. Original, unexpired passport.
  5. J-1 entry visa (in passport) that was valid when you entered the U.S. (Note: The J-1 entry visa can expire once you are in the U.S.) OR, if no J-1 visa, I-797 J-1 status approval notice.
  6. Small, white I-94 card (or printed I-94 record from www.cbp.gov/I94), marked J-1 and “D/S.”
  7. Official verification letter from J-1 sponsor certifying you are eligible for on-campus employment.

Other Visa types

Social Security numbers are only available to those who are eligible for employment in the U.S. Therefore, anyone who is not eligible for employment because of his or her visa status (F-2, H-4, etc.) also is NOT eligible for a Social Security number (no exceptions). Rather than an SSN, these individuals may apply for an Individual Tax Payer Identification Number (ITIN).

For information and instructions to apply for an ITIN, please see: www.irs.gov and enter “ITIN” in the “Search” field.

If you still have questions after consulting the IRS Web site, you should contact the LSU Office of Accounting Services (204 Thomas Boyd Hall) at 225-578-3321.

Baton Rouge Social Security Administration Office

5455 Bankers Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Phone: 866-613-3070
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm