Search This Site

A Division of the International Studies Office

Social Security

A Social Security Number (SSN) is required by U.S. law for employment and/or other kinds of employment-related payments from a U.S. source. The government considers other reasons for an SSN to be matters of convenience, and requests for an SSN for any purpose other than employment can be denied.  Sometimes organizations such as banks and cell phone companies will ask for your social security number in order to check your credit references.  If you do not have one you are not required to get one for these purposes.


J-1 status—if you will be paid by UVa;

J-2 status—requires an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or “work card” (see “J-2 Status”)

You must apply in person at the Social Security Administration.  The application form is available in the ISO or you can download the form here:

Take the completed application, your passport, I-94 arrival record print-out, and DS-2019.  The SSA office is located in Charlottesville at 1470 Pantops Mountain Place (off Route 250 East in the Pantops area of Charlottesville).

For more information about the Charlottesville office of the SSA please visit the following website:  Charlottesville SSA Office location.

If you will be employed by UVa, you will be able to begin your employment before your SSN has been issued.  It generally takes approximately 2 weeks for the Social Security Administration to issue new numbers and mail the card to your local residential address.  Upon receipt of your card you will need to take it to the administrator in your department so that he or she can input the number to your payroll record.

The Social Security number is valid for life.  Once you have been issued a number it never expires.  Please keep it secure as there have been an increasing incidence of identity fraud in the US.  More information about this can be found here:

Identify Theft Brochure