Social Security Cards

Students in F-1 or J-1 status are not eligible for a Social Security number without offer of employment. If you require evidence of ineligibility for a Social Security number in order to apply for a state driver license, you may go directly to the Social Security Administration office and request a Denial Letter to submit with your driver license application.

Students may begin employment before applying for a Social Security number, but must apply for a Social Security number immediately after beginning employment.

To apply for a Social Security number, take the following documents to the Social Security office:

  • Secure employment (See note below about details of the employment offer letter)
  • Be able to show original documents proving your:
    • Identity
      • Passport
      • Student ID or driver license
    • Immigration status;
      • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record (white card in your passport)
      • F-1 students: I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student
      • J-1 students: DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor
    • Work eligibility;
      • Letter from OISS (you may omit this if you have all other documents in order)
      • Employment offer letter from employer including
        • Your job;
        • Your employment start date;
        • The number of hours you will be working; and
        • Your supervisor's name and telephone number.
    • Age;
      • If your passport is less than one year old, you must present your ORIGINAL birth certificate.

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency.
You must apply in person. Do not mail your immigration documents or passport.

The South Bend Social Security Administration office, 602 S. Michigan St. Phone: 877-326-0098 Hours: 9:00 am – 3:30 pm, Monday - Friday, except federal holidays. The public South Bend Transpo bus can take you from IU South Bend to the down bus station which is across the street from the Social Security office.

You must be in active immigration status in order to apply for a Social Security number. Therefore new students should wait at least 10 business days after the OISS registers you in the SEVIS system. Once you apply expect to wait between 2-10 weeks for your card. Your card will be sent to the address you write on your application. If you are unsure of your local address or your address will change before your card comes, it is possible to have the card sent "in care of" the Office of International Student Services at IU South Bend, "c/o Office of International Student Services, 1700 Mishawaka Ave., P.O. Box 7111, South Bend, IN 46634-7111."

There is no charge for a Social Security Number.