Social Security Numbers (SSN)

Download the Obtaining an SSN information sheet. 

Eligibility for a Social Security Number

In most cases, if you have a job or are preparing to begin work, you must apply for a Social Security number (SSN).

  • ONLY students who have an on-campus job offer or are authorized for other types of employment such as OPT, CPT, or Academic Training will be able to obtain a SSN.
  • Scholars who will receive payment from Notre Dame are automatically eligible based on the nature of their visa.  (Dependents of scholars are not eligible unless they obtain work authorization from the government.)
  • Scholars who will not receive payment from Notre Dame are not eligible for a Social Security number.

If you do not have a job, you cannot obtain a SSN.

  • Students and dependents without a job may obtain a Letter of Social Security Number Ineligibility which can be used to apply for an Indiana Driver’s License.

Your ndID number is NOT a temporary Social Security number. Do NOT enter your ndID number on any tax forms, applications for credit cards, utilities, etc. When filling out forms that request your Social Security number, indicate that you have applied for the number, or leave it blank, as the case may be.

Social Security Numbers and Access to Service

In the state of Indiana an international student or dependent does NOT need a Social Security number in order to obtain the following:

  • An Indiana state ID or driver’s license 
  • A checking account, a savings account, or an ATM card 
  • Public utility hook-ups (water, gas, electricity)
  • Telephone service

Although no business or agency should require proof of a Social Security number for services other than delivery of federal, state, or local assistance benefits, international students and dependents who do not have Social Security numbers may encounter the following challenges in the state of Indiana:

  • Many banks will not issue a credit or credit/debit card.
  • Many utility and telephone service companies will demand a deposit in lieu of presenting a valid Social Security number.
  • Other business owners may not render service claiming that they are not able to run a credit check without an SSN.

First determine whether you are eligible for a Social Security number according to the criteria outlined above.

The Time Frame

Generally, it takes at least 14 days after a student or scholar’s information is entered by the University into SEVIS before the Social Security Administration is able to verify non-immigrant status through the Department of Homeland Security. Therefore you should wait at least 14 days from the time you check in with ISSA before you apply for a Social Security number.

Social Security Number (SSN) Application Instructions

Step One: Complete check-in with ISSA. NEW STUDENTS ONLY. After you have checked in with ISSA, wait 14 days for your registration information to reach the U.S. government system. If you are a continuing student or scholar, begin with Step Two.

Step Two (Students Only): Obtain a Letter from your Employer. This should be printed on department/organizational letterhead. A template is available: SSN Department Letter Template

Step Three (Students Only): Bring the employer letter to 105 Main Building to obtain the ISSA authorization letter.

Step Four: Complete and print the SSN Application (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf).

Step Five: Apply for SSN in person at the Social Security Administration (SSA) office, 602 S Michigan St in South Bend. To get to the Social Security Administration office, take bus #7 from the Library Circle to the South Street Station. The office is across the street from the bus station. Bring the two letters, your completed application and the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Visa (except for citizens of Canada and Bermuda)
  • Copy of I-94 record from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html. (If you arrived via a land port of entry, bring your paper I-94 Card.)
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Students Only: ISSA Letter and Employment Letter
  • Students on OPT Only: Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS 
  • Scholars Only: Appointment letter (Letter from Notre Dame inviting you to the university as a scholar)   

Note: There is no cost to apply for a Social Security Number.

Step Six: Wait for SSN card to arrive by mail from the Social Security Administration.

Step Seven: Report SSN to Notre Dame by taking your SSN card and NDid to Registrar’s Office, 300 Grace Hall.

Obtaining a Letter of Social Security Number Ineligibility Application Instructions

Step One: Complete check-in with ISSA. NEW STUDENTS ONLY. After you have checked in with ISSA, wait 14 days for your registration information to reach the U.S. government system. If you are a continuing student or scholar, begin with Step Two.

Step Two: Complete and print the SSN Application (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf).

Step Three: Apply for SSN in person at the Social Security Administration (SSA) office, 602 S Michigan St in South Bend. To get to the Social Security Administration office, take bus #7 from the Library Circle to the South Street Station. The office is across the street from the bus station. Bring the two letters, your completed application and the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Visa (except for citizens of Canada and Bermuda)
  • Copy of I-94 record from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html. (If you arrived via a land port of entry, bring your paper I-94 Card.)
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019

Step Four: Your Letter of SSN Inelibility may be given to you immediately, or you may need to wait for the letter to arrive by mail from the Social Security Administration.

Working on Campus before Receiving a Social Security Number

An international student or scholar at the University of Notre Dame may begin a term of on-campus employment without a Social Security number, but must apply for one and inform the University immediately after obtaining one.

When filling out the required W-4 form, write on the line that reads SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER “applied for” and attach to your document the ndID number issued by the University. As soon as you have received your Social Security number, you must present your Social Security card to the office identified in the steps above.

Questions?

Additional information about obtaining a Social Security Number or a Letter of Social Security number Ineligibility can be found on the Social Security Administration website: http://socialsecurity.gov. You may also call the local Social Security Administration Office at 877.274.5415.

Please notify ISSA at 574.631.3825 or issa@nd.edu if you encounter any difficulties while applying for either a Social Security Number or a Letter of Social Security Number Ineligibility.

Updated 03/08/2017

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