Social Security Number
About the Social Security Number
Various companies/agencies may ask for your Social Security
Number. The US does not have a national ID number, so the SSN has become a
de-facto national ID. That being said, any company/agency can generally provide
you with the service you are trying to obtain without an SSN. Some agencies
will require you to pay an initial refundable deposit or pay in full up front
in lieu of presenting an SSN.
If you encounter someone who insists that you provide an SSN
(cable, TV, electricity, cell phone contract, etc.), you should ask to speak to
a manager. An SSN is not required to obtain a driver’s license in North
You should protect your SSN. Do not provide it to a company that
is not considered to be a legitimate corporate entity.
Regardless of whether you
will be employed in any capacity while you are in the U.S., anyone in the J-1
Research Scholar, Professor, and Short Term Scholar category is eligible to
receive a Social Security number (SSN). Those in a J-1 student category are not eligible to apply for an SSN unless
they have authorized employment.
It is generally recommended
that you wait at least 10 days after your date of arrival to visit the Social
Security Administration office to apply for the SSN.
You must complete all check-in steps with the Office of International
Services before you apply for an SSN. Your SEVIS
record must be activated before you will be able to successfully apply for the
How to Apply
Applying for the SSN is free,
but the application process will require a few hours. You will need to present
the following documents when you go to the Social Security Administration:
Once you receive an SSN, you
should protect it. Do not provide it to a company that is not considered to be
a legitimate corporate entity.
Social Security Administration of Winston-Salem
1370 Lockland Ave.
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
Hours: 9 am-3 pm, Monday-Friday