Social Security Administration

The Official Website of the U.S. Social Security Administration

A social security card is required for students and scholars who intend to earn money in the United States. A social security card is not needed to open a bank account,although it is much more convenient to have a social security number to obtain services, such as utilities, credit cards, etc.

Local Office:

Social Security Office
1170 Harvard Way
Reno, NV 89502
Local Number: 1-888-808-5481
National Toll-Free: 1-800-772-1213

Office Hours:

Open: Monday-Friday, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Closed: Saturday, Sunday and on federal holidays

Directions:

Travel East on I-80 and take I-580/US-395 South. Exit on Villanova Drive / Plumb Lane and turn right (West) onto Villanova Drive. Turn right (North) onto Harvard Way. The Social Security Office is at the corner of Vassar Street and Harvard Way.

Social Security Information

The law which came into effect October 2004, allows international students to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) ONLY if they have an employment offer and the required authorization for the employment. The purpose of having a SSN is for employment only; the SSN should not be required to open a bank account, get a driver license, cell phone or other utilities.

The Social Security Administration Office will process applications for SSN only under the following circumstances:

  1. On-campus employment for students who have been offered a job at UNR. Please refer to Social Security Number Request for the letter required to apply for the SSN.

  2. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization for off-campus employment. You must be eligible and be authorized by OISS to do CPT and this authorization will appear on page 3 of your I-20.

  3. Employment Authorization Document card received from the Department of Homeland Security as a result of your application for Economic Hardship or Optional Practical Training for off-campus employment.

  4. Academic Training authorization for J-1 students only. You must be authorized by OISS to do academic training.

For more information on these employment options available to students please refer to the Employment Information section.

Refer to International Students and Social Security Numbers for more information and any additional documents required.

Social Security Card

A social security card is required for students and scholars who intend to earn money in the United States. A social security card is not needed to open a bank account, although it is much more convenient to have a Social Security Number (SSN) to obtain services, such as utilities, credit cards, etc.

Official Social Security website

Applying for a Social Security Card

You must apply in person at the local Social Security Office with the documents outlined below:

Other documents:

  • Form I-20 for F-1, Form DS-2019 for J-1 students
  • J-1 scholars: Form DS-2019
  • H-1B workers: Form I-797 - approval notice
  • J-2 dependents: EAD card

F-2 and H-4 dependents are not eligible to apply

For on-campus employment for F-1 and J-1 students, upon filing for a social security card, you will be given a letter confirming your application. Give a copy of the letter to the employing department. After 2-4 weeks the card will be mailed to the address you list on your application form. Once you receive the card, please bring it to the department to have your records updated.