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International Students & Scholars

Social Security Number

Social Security Number

Social Security is the name of the US welfare system. It is funded largely by a tax on wages earned in the US. A Social Security Number (SSN) connects your US wage to the Social Security system. If you are authorized to work in the US and you have a job you must have a SSN. 

To be eligible for a SSN, both of the following must be true:

  • You are authorized to work in the US, and
  • You have a job in the US

To apply for a SSN, please do the following in this exact order:

  1. Obtain a SSN letter from your US employer (at VCU, this would be your hiring department).  
    View a sample employer SSN letter.
  2. Obtain a SSN letter from GEO. To request a SSN letter from GEO, email your employer SSN letter to geois@vcu.edu (subject line: GEO SSN Letter).  We will prepare a GEO SSN letter and email you in 2-3 business days when it is ready to be picked up at our office.
  3. Take the documents listed below to the Social Security office at 1834 West Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23220.  Hours: Mon-Fri 9 AM-4 PM except federal holidays.  The agents at the Social Security office will help you apply for a SSN. Social Security will send your SSN to you by regular US mail 7-14 days after you apply for your SSN. 

 

F-1 Visa

Passport, valid I-20, current I-94, employer SSN letter, GEO SSN letter

 

J-1 Student Visa

Passport, valid DS-2019, current I-94, employer SSN letter, GEO SSN letter

 

J-1 Scholar Visa

Passport, valid DS-2019, current I-94, employer SSN letter, GEO SSN letter

 

H-1B Visa

Passport, valid Form I-797A H-1B approval notice, current I-94, hiring department job offer letter (no specific SSN letters required)

 

Obtain your current I-94 Record

 

 

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