HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

There is no charge for a Social Security number and card.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?

The Social Security Administration will mail your number and card as soon as all of your immigration information has been verified. It can take 2-4 weeks or more.

WHAT IF MY CARD IS LOST OR STOLEN?

You can replace your card for free if it is lost or stolen. However, you are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits. For example, changes in nonimmigrant status that require card updates may not count toward these limits.

To request a replacement card:

  • Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5)
  • Present recently issued photo identification to show your identity (passport, Washington state identification card)
  • Show evidence of your current lawful nonimmigrant status (visa, I-20/ DS-2019, I-94)
  • Complete a new Social Security Verification form (if you are employed on campus)

Your replacement card will have the same name and number as your previous card.

WHAT IF MY IMMIGRATION STATUS OR CITIZENSHIP CHANGES?

If your immigration status changes or you become a legal permanent resident (LPR), you should inform the Social Security Administration office so that your records can be updated. You will need to present documents that prove your new status.

ARE MY EARNINGS TAXABLE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY PURPOSES?
The International Center is unable to provide tax related advising. However, before the tax due date, we host an Income Tax Workshop for international students where an on-campus Tax Specialist shares tips on filing income taxes and answers questions. The schedule will be updated when the date and time are set.
You can also review the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publications for details about employment taxes payable on the earnings of a nonresident aliens.
CAN I START WORKING BEFORE I RECEIVE A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD?

As long as you have authorization (on-campus work, CPT, or OPT), yes: you can start to work while your SSN application is still processing. You should ensure your employer follows the correct instructions for allowing you to begin work without the SSN. The Social Security Administration’s publication, “Foreign Workers and Social Security Numbers,” has additional information.