Social Security/I-94

All participants must apply for and receive a Social Security Number by visiting their local Social Security office. After you apply, it may take between four and six weeks to receive your card with your Social Security Number. You need a Social Security Number in order to be paid and to file your tax return.

If you already have a Social Security Number, you do not need to apply for SOCIAL SECURITY CARDanother one. If you do not have your physical Social Security card and you do not remember your Social Security Number, you can visit any Social Security Administration office to replace your card for free. To find an office near you, please visit:

If you do not have a Social Security Number, you need to apply for one as soon as possible, waiting at least 48 hours after registering in SEVIS. It is also recommended by the Social Security Administration that you wait 10 days after your arrival in the United States AND be registered in SEVIS for two days before applying for a Social Security Number. Following these guidelines will ensure that your Social Security Number is issued as fast as possible.

What do you need to bring?

  • DS-2019
  • Passport & J-1 Visa
  • I-94 card (SEE BELOW)
  • Dear Social Security Officer Letter found in your AWA Student Portal
  • Social Security Form SS-5 Application SS Application Form

After you apply, the Social Security Administration will give you a receipt. This is an important document that you give to your employer to show you have applied for a Social Security Number and are eligible to begin work.

You should check on the status of your application in seven to ten days by returning to the Social Security office. If they've assigned the 9-digit number for you, ask them to write the number down for you to give to your host employer so they can pay you. This simple step guarantees that your application is being processed and there are no delays. When you check on the status of your application, be sure to bring your important documents along with your application receipt. Your number may already be available and the Social Security Administration can give you the number right away. Your card will arrive in the mail at the address you provided on your application.

When will my Social Security card arrive in the mail?

If you follow the steps above, you can expect to receive your Social Security Number in four to six weeks. It’s very important that the address you use on the application is accurate. If the address on your application changes before you receive your Social Security card, simply visit any Social Security Administration office and update your mailing address.

What happens if I still do not receive my card?

Please visit your local Social Security and ask if your application has been processes. There are times when Immigration Customs Enforcement may have incorrectly entered your SEVIS ID number, name, or date of birth. Unfortunately, only an ICE Officer at a designated Deferred Inspection Site can correct this issue.

Here is a list of Deferred Inspection Sites: Deferred Inspection Sites

For more information about Social Security, please visit:


AWA Participants will need a copy of their I-94 (record of admission) for employment authorization (Form I-9), as well as, when you apply for your social security number. Go to this link: and on the right hand side of the page click "Get I-94 Number now"