To legally work in the US, you are required to have a social security number, which is located on a social security card. If this is your first time working in the US, you must apply for a social security card. If you already have a social security card from a previous work and travel or other program, it is not necessary to apply for another number. Be sure to bring the old number with you to the US and to give it to your employer.

It is essential that you validate your visa within 72 hours of arriving in the US. After you have been in the US for 10 business days, you can then apply for your social security card. It is important to note that you must wait at least 3 business days from the time you validated your visa before applying for your social security card to allow for processing your arrival to the US.

Your employer may or may not assist you in applying for your social security card and in transporting you to the nearest social security office. Be sure to know if you are responsible for your own transportation to the social security office.

When you apply for your social security card, be sure to have the following paperwork with you:

  1. Passport and I-94 card (card is stapled in your passport)
  2. DS-2019 form
  3. Job Offer Letter
  4. Social Security letter in your Participant Manual

For more information about social security, please visit one of the below website:

Social Security Administration website at:

Employer Responsibilities When Hiring Foreign Workers

International students and Social Security Numbers: