Social Security & Taxes

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not issue a Social Security Number (SSN) to those in F or J status unless they are employed. If students have a job, they should bring a letter verifying employment to the ISO. An alternate responsible officer will then issue the student a letter that the student will take with the employer's letter to the SSA office to apply for an SSN.

To issue a letter, an advisor must have copies of all current immigration documents in order to validate visa status. If the student has traveled recently, have a new visa or I-94 card, extended their passport or have any other new documents, the ISO requires the student to submit new copies.

Please submit the following at the ISO Front Desk with your request:

If you are requesting permission to engage in On-Campus Employment:

Students are requested to submit a letter from the employing department, on GW letterhead, stating the following information:

  1. Position title
  2. Number of hours per week student is expected to work
  3. Location of employment

**F-1 students with fellowship or Graduate Assistantship (GTA, GRA, GAA): please provide a copy of award letter in lieu of the on-campus employer letter.

If you are requesting permission to engage in Off-Campus Employment:

Students authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) must provide their I-20 with a CPT endorsement on page 3 when applying for a Social Security letter. All previous I-20s must also be included.

Students authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or severe economic hardship must provide a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Students authorized for Academic Training should present their work authorization letter and academic training DS-2019.

To apply for a SSN:

The Social Security Administration requires original documents stating age, identity and lawful alien status. The ISO has prepared a comprehensive Social Security Number handout on how to apply for an SSN.

Please bring

  1. I-20
  2. Passport
  3. Visa or I-797 Approval Notice of Change of Visa Status
  4. I-94 Card
  5. Social Security Support Letter (from ISO)
  6. Letter from Employer
  7. GWorld Card

The nearest Social Security Administration to the Foggy Bottom campus is located at 2100 M Street, NW.