What is “Social Security”?
Social Security is a retirement and medical benefits program administered by the United States government. It is financed by mandatory contributions from employers and employees.
International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa do not need to have a Social Security Number (SSN) unless they are working. People will ask you for your Social Security Number at the Enrollment and Registration office, the bank, etc. When a Dalton State College staff member asks you for that number, give them your Student ID number. When someone at a bank asks you for an SSN, tell him or her you are an international student and you do not have one. It is not necessary to have a Social Security Number to have a bank account in the US, although it is necessary to have a social security number to obtain an ATM, Debit, or Credit Card. You may read about social security numbers for international students directly from the Social Security Administration website: http://www.ssa.gov/
Even if your friends tell you it is true…. A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD DOES NOT GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES!!
Who is eligible for a Social Security Card?
An F -1 student who has obtained a job offer to work on or off campus and has found employment may apply for a Social Security Card. NOTE: If you have found a job, your employer will require you to have a Social Security number in order to pay your taxes according to federal government regulations.
Documents required to obtain a Social Security Card
You must take your passport, I-20, I-94, a letter promising employment from your employer, and a letter from the International Student Enrollment office .
Where can you obtain a Social Security Card?
The Social Security Administration office is located:
301 Point North Place
Dalton, GA. 30720
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-3pm (Except Federal Holidays)
The office is very busy, so you should plan to arrive early. There is no fee for this service. The toll free telephone number is 1-800-772-1213.
In summary, follow these simple steps to help with the Social Security Number application process:
- Complete the Social Security Card application form. (You can get this application from the Social Security Administration website: http://www.ssa.gov/)
- Have your employer prepare a written offer of employment.
- Request a Social Security letter from the office of International Student Enrollment. .
- Take the above two items, your passport, form I-94, and your I-20 (endorsed by the International Student Enrollment Advisor for on-campus employment) to the Social Security Administration office in person. (DO NOT MAIL)
- You are also advised to take evidence of legal employment, such as your Employment Authorization Document from immigration, a letter from your employer, a pay stub or, an on-campus job offer letter.