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. It is common for people to ask for your Social Security Number on applications, at GSW, the bank, etc.
If a Georgia Southwestern State University staff member asks for your SSN, give them the student ID number listed on your student identification card. 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.
Please visit the Social Security website to learn more about social security numbers for international students.
A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD IS NOT A WORK AUTHORIZATION CARD. A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD DOES NOT AUTHORIZE YOU TO WORK OFF CAMPUS.
Who is eligible for a Social Security Card?
An F -1 student who is approved 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 usually require you to have a Social Security number in order to pay your taxes according to federal government regulations. In some cases, you can apply for a Tax Identification Number or TIN (See your employer for more details).
To obtain a social security card, you must take your passport, I-20, I-94, and a letter from the Registrar’s Office to the Social Security Office*. The nearest office is in Cordele** (about 35 miles East of Americus). You are encouraged to visit the Social Security website or call the local office to find out what documents you will need to take with you.
*Only students enrolled as full-time students during the summer semester will be eligible to apply for a social security card during summer semester.
** Georgia Southwestern State University does not provide transportation to the Social Security Office.
Social Security Administration
510 E 15th Avenue
Cordele, GA 31015
TTY: (229) 273-6094
Office Hours: Monday-Friday
8:30am – 3:30pm