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Social Security

If you are an F-1 student, you are eligible to apply for a social security number (SSN) if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are employed in the U.S. or have an offer of employment from a U.S.-based employer (either on-campus employment or an off-campus internship that has been pre-approved with Curricular Practical Training (CPT)).
  • You have an employment authorization document  (EAD)

A J-1 student/scholar/professor is not required to prove employment in order to qualify for the number.  You will, however, need a letter from the Center for Global Programs and Studies (GPS) that verifies current status.

An F-1/J-1 student/scholar/professor with U.S.-based employment will need to present the following documents when applying for the number:

  • Passport
  • Form I-20
  • I-94 card: available electronically at (Note: paper cards are still being issued at all land port of entries so if you receive a paper card, take care not to lose it)
  • Letter from employer verifying employment or offer of employment (not required of those on the J-1 visa)
  • Letter from GPS that verifies current status
  • Completed application form (SS-5).  (Form can be downloaded from the SSA website:

You may be asked by different companies, agencies, etc. for your social security number. Just keep in mind that they can generally provide you with the service you are trying to obtain without the SSN.  If you encounter someone who insists that you provide a SSN (i.e. cable TV, electricity, etc.), you should ask to speak to a manager/supervisor.

  • A SSN is no longer necessary in order to obtain a driver’s license in the state of North Carolina.
  • You should protect your SSN and not provide it to a company that is not considered to be a legitimate corporate entity.  The SSN is used as a de-facto national ID number for people residing in the U.S.
  • The Winston-Salem SS Administration is located at the following address:

1370 Lockland Ave

Winston-Salem, NC 27103


9:00am-3:00pm (every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday)

9:00am-12:00pm (every Wednesday beginning January 2, 2014) 

Please note: It is a good idea to call the office ahead of your visit, as hours of operation can change at any time.

Tel: 1-877-402-0828

(The best time to visit is during the afternoon hours.  Mondays and Fridays are usually busy.)