For some parents, it is incentive enough to send their children abroad for studies; many consider it to be a crucial first step to immigration. It is a small, 4x2 inch card that is sometimes given as much importance as academic pursuits; this card is known as the Social Security Number (SSN).
Social Security numbers are generally assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States. They are used to report your wages to the government and to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits.
Every U.S. citizen has an SSN, but the card is not only restricted to U.S. citizens.
To apply for a Social Security number, students must first complete an application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5). This form also requires showing proof that the student in question is authorized to work on his immigration/visa status, and proof of being over the minimum working age.
To prove an immigration status, one must show their current U.S. immigration document, which is their I-94; this is the arrival/departure record that was issued to them when they arrived in the United States. F-1 and M-1 students must also show their I-20 and Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. J-1 exchange visitors must show us their DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status.
The school at which the international student is studying also plays a pivotal role in helping attain the SSN.
If you are an F-1 student and eligible to work on campus, you must provide a letter from your designated school official that proves your identification, confirms your status, identifies your employer and the type of work you are, or will be, doing.
If you are an F-1 student authorized to work in curricular practical training (CPT), you must provide your I-20 form with the employment page (page 3) completed and signed by your school’s designated official. If you are an F-1 or M-1 student and have a work permit (Form I-766) from DHS, you must present it. If you are a J-1 student, student intern or international visitor, you must provide a letter from your sponsor. This letter should be on your sponsor’s letterhead with an original signature that authorizes your employment.
Getting a Social Security Number is an important step to establishing an on record identity in the USA. Having a clean record of taxes is crucial for your chances of extending your stay beyond your years at college. Therefore, international students planning on working should make sure that they are fully equipped and have an SSN to establish their presence in the USA.