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Social Security Number (SSN)


What is a Social Security Number?

A Social Security number (SSN) is a taxpayer identification number issued by the Social Security Administration. It does not represent permission to work, nor is it proof of US citizenship or permanent residence. If you will be receiving payment (as in the case of University employment, including assistantships) for any type of work in the U.S., you must obtain a valid Social Security Number (SSN) from the U.S. Social Security Administration.


Who is Eligible to Apply?

You may apply for an SSN if you have:

  • an offer of employment, 
  • registered for a full-credit course load, and
  • the ISSC reported your registration to SEVIS

Please Note: The Social Security Administration Office cannot process your application more than 30 days prior to your on-campus job or CPT start date.


How to Apply for an SSN?

For F-1 Students

Please prepare the original and printed copies of the following documents to present when applying for the SSN:


For J-1 Students 

Please prepare the original and printed copies of the following documents to present when applying for the SSN:


Where to Apply for an SSN?

When you have your documents ready, you can submit your application in person at the local Social Security Administration Office.

Social Security Administration Office in New Bedford:

  • Address: Hastings Keith Bld, 53 North 6th Street, New Bedford, MA 02740
  • Phone: 1-866-964-7413
  • TTY: 1-508-979-8229
  • Fax: 1-833-902-2516
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

To find other office, please use the Social Security Office Locator



How to Obtain an SSN Denial Letter?

If you are not eligible for a Social Security Number under current federal regulations but wish to apply for a Driver’s License, you can obtain an SSN Denial Letter from the Social Security Administration Office to include in the driver’s license application.

To request an SSN Denial Letter, please prepare the original and printed copies of the following documents to present at the Social Security Administration Office:


Other SSN Information

  • Family members on an F-2 visa can't work in the US and can't get a Social Security Number. If you need an identification number to set up a bank account or to file an income tax return, you can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) with the Internal Revenue Service Form W-7.
  • Family members in the J-2 visa category can work in the U.S. with permission from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Please consult the ISSC for help with applying for permission to work.
  • Please view Protecting your Social Security number to avoid identity theft.


Additional Information

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