How to apply for a Social Security Number

Students in F-1 status who are employed must apply for a US Social Security number.
Students in F-1 status who are not employed are not eligible to apply for an SSN.

Anyone in J-1 status can apply for a US Social Security number, even if they are not employed.

A Social Security number helps identify and accurately record your earnings.  You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place.  Your SSN is unique to you and is valid forever.  Your SSN should not be shared unnecessarily.

F-1 and J-1 students: Request an application packet:

  1. Go to and click the “LOGIN” button.
  2. Sign in using your account information.
  3. Click Letter Requests and select F-1 Social Security Certification Letter (F-1 students)  or J-1 Student Work authorization memo (J-1 students).
  4. Complete the form.
  5. When the application packet is ready, we will send an email to your account.  Please allow processing time for up to a week. If you need it urgently, please email us at

Next Steps:
OIP will inform you when your certification and application are ready.
Ask your supervisor to complete their section on the certification.
Go to the Social Security Office in Bangor, 202 Harlow Street in Bangor, to submit your application.
Bring your application, passport, DS-2019 (for J-1) or I-20 (for F-1) and I-94 arrival record.

H1B Employees and J-1 Scholars– complete the Social Security Administration application online and then go to the Social Security Office, 202 Harlow Street, Bangor, to submit your application.

To complete the online application, go to
Click “Start”. Answer the questions and follow the instructions provided.

Be very careful when entering your information as your responses will be sued to create your record with the Social Security Administration.

Two essential items:

  • When asked for an address, be sure to enter the OIP address: 5775 Stodder Hall, Room 300. Orono, Maine 04469-5775
  • When you submit the application, be sure to take note of the O-number that you are assigned and write it down for your reference.

Bring your passport and DS2019 (for J-1) or I-797 notice of approval (for H1B) and your I-94 arrival record to your appointment.