Social Security Number (SSN)

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Social Security Number (SSN)*

A Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique, nine-digit identification number issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). An SSN is a requirement for all persons who work and receive pay in the U.S. The SSN is used to report wages to the government and is issued to track earnings over a worker's lifetime. The SSN itself is not a work permit. 

Students holding F-1 and J-1 status who are employed in the U.S. must apply for an SSN. Once you have an SSN, it will never expire. Even if your employment is discontinued or you leave the U.S. for a few years and return, you will keep the same number.

It is very important that you do not share your SSN with anyone else, as this can lead to identity theft. Do not carry your social security card in your wallet. Do not give out your SSN to anybody unless it is absolutely necessary. It is recommended to memorize your SSN!

Dependents in F-2 status are not eligible for a SSN. (Students who will not work on campus but who receive a taxable scholarship can apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) for tax purposes).

The nearest Social Security Administration office to the SIU Carbondale campus is located downtown at 250 W Cherry St, Carbondale, IL 62901.

*F-1 & J-1 students only