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Applying for a US Social Security Number

A U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration. It is used as a personal identification number by all government and most commercial institutions in the United States (for employment, taxes, bank accounts, credit card applications, etc.).

The Social Security Administration has placed limits on who may apply and for what reason(s) the number is needed. Typically, only those international students and scholars who have on or off- campus work authorization will receive a number. The Social Security Administration will not issue you a number for a bank account, credit card, U.S. income tax return, or other non-work related reasons - you must have an employment offer to secure a number.  Click here for further information regarding social security numbers for International Students.

Students who do not have a Social Security number or are otherwise ineligible, and wish to apply for a Connecticut State ID card or CT driver's license, must request a "letter of denial" from our local Social Security Office in Hartford.  This letter will state that you are not eligible for a SSN number, and must be presented to the CT Department of Motor Vehicles.  Before going to the Social Security Office, please stop by the International Center and request a "Student Status Verification Letter."

On-Campus Employment

Any international student who is employed by an academic or administrative department or office of the University of Hartford is required to have a social security number. Students employed by Aramark Dining Services or the Bookstore must also have a SSN. On-campus employment includes all work performed on our campus for hourly pay or tuition remission. Graduate assistants are also required to have a social security number. Students who are have been offered a position on campus may not begin work or receive pay until they have secured a SSN.

What documents are required when applying for a Social Security Number

If you believe that you need a U.S. Social Security number for employment purposes, you must provide the following documents:

  • You must have a letter signed by your intended campus employer which offers you the employment position.  The letter must include a description of the proposed employment and the date the employment is expected to begin. This letter must be brought to the International Center.
  • The International Center will verify your full-time student status and complete a "Student Status Verification Letter" and counter- signs your employment letter.

You must then take these letters to the Social Security Office in Hartford and apply for your number.  Bring the following documents with you when you go to the Social Security Office

  •  your passport
  •  I-20 or DSP 2019form
  •  I-94 Arrival Record (download here)
  • Any other personal identification
  • A piece of mail that shows your local U.S. mailing address (preferably a billing charge from a utility company or credit card company or a bank statement)
Where to apply for a Social Security number

You may apply to the local SSA Office in Hartford which is located at::

960 Main St.
2nd floor
Hartford, CT 06103
Telephone # 1-800-234-5772 or 493-1857

Processing time

Under recently implemented security regulations, though the typical processing time for a number is usually 10-15 days, it may take as long as three months to be issued a number.  The Social Security Administration is required to check your legal immigration status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service before you may be issued a number.  There is no method in place to speed up the process and much depends on the workload of both the SSA and the USCIS.

We recommend that you do not apply for a SSN until you have been physically present in the U.S. for a minimum of ten days. The Social Security Administration must receive data from the USCIS verifying your legal status in the U.S. 

Off-Campus Employment

Student working off-campus (internships or Post Completion Practical Training) are also required to have a Social Security number prior to beginning employment.  Please follow the instructions detailed above to obtain your number.

Directions to the Social Security Office in Hartford

Social Security Application Form