Social Security and Income Tax

SSN

How to Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)

Information for International Students, Scholars and Employees

 

When You Do & Don't Need a Social Security Card

Social Security numbers are not general purpose ID’s. Accordingly, you should not need a Social Security number for the tasks listed below.  (If a business representative or service provider asks you for a Social Security number, simply inform him/her that you are from another country and do not have one.)

  • open a bank account
  • rent an apartment
  • open a utility account (e.g. electricity, gas)
  • set up a cell phone account
  • register your children for school
  • conduct business with other financial institutions

Note: The only exceptions should be business providers who require a credit check before doing business with you or opening an online account for you.

If you are not working in the U.S., you also do not need a Social Security number to submit tax forms (e.g. Form 8843) to the Internal Revenue Service, which is the U.S. government’s tax agency. For this purpose, you should apply instead for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). For information on how to do this at UB, please contact Amanda Brown at 645-4429 or Carlos Gallardo at 645-4430.

In order to work in the U.S., you will need a Social Security Number. To obtain one, you will have to document that you are eligible to work in the U.S. Please refer to the section below which corresponds to your visa category to find out the type of documentation you need.

Once you have your Social Security number, please be careful:

  • Identity Theft is a big problem in the U.S.
  • It can happen if someone with ill intentions finds out your Social Security Number.
  • DO NOT CARRY your Social Security Card or SSN with you. Instead, memorize the number and keep the card in a safe place at home!
  • For more information on protecting yourself, see the Social Security Administration's brochure at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10064.pdf.

 

What You Need to Apply for a Social Security Number

To apply for a Social Security number, you must appear in person at the Social Security Office, complete an application form and provide original documents to verify your age, your identity and your lawful nonimmigrant status.

If you are in F-1 status, you should bring the following items with you:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid I-94 card (if you were issued one when you entered the U.S.) OR Admission stamp in passport + Print-out of electronic I-94 card (available at www.cbp.gov/I94)
  • All of your original I-20's
  • Completed Social Security Application Form (see below for instructions)
  • Verification of your employment authorization

    For on-campus employment:

    1. A letter from a Designated School Official (DSO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) in ISSS, Talbert Hall 210, North Campus confirming your status as an F-1 or J-1 student AND
    2. A letter from your on-campus employer* on the employer's letterhead verifying that you have secured employment.

       NOTE: Your academic department cannot issue the employment letter.

       NOTE: There are several employers at UB (State of New York,

       Research Foundation, UB Foundation, Campus Dining & Shops). If you

       are not sure who your employer is, please ask your department who        will pay you.

       NOTE: If you are employed by the State of New York or Research

       Foundation, your letter will automatically be sent to you when your new

       hire paperwork is received by Human Resources. If you have not

       received the employer letter, please check with your department to see

       if your paperwork was submitted. If your paperwork was submitted and        you still have not received the employer letter, please contact the
       appropriate person below.

    State of New York (SUNY or State)
    Contact: Carlos Gallardo 645-4430

    Research Foundation (RF)
    Contact: Carlos Gallardo 645-4430

    University at Buffalo Foundation (UBF)
    Contact: Pamela Hamman 645-8735

    Campus Dining and Shops
    Contact: Catherine Brown 645-0381

    For off-campus employment:

    1. Curricular Practical Training authorization on page 3 of your I-20 OR a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card) for Optional Practical Training or Economic Hardship Employment Authorization

If you are in J-1 status, you should bring with you:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid I-94 card (if you were issued one when you entered the U.S.) OR Admission stamp in passport + Print-out of electronic I-94 card (available at www.cbp.gov/I94)
  • All of your DS-2019's
  • Completed Social Security Application form (see below for instructions)
  • Verification of your employment or eligibility to work in the U.S.
    For J-1 Students & Interns
    • A letter from ISSS (or your program sponsor if UB did not issue your DS-2019) verifying your employment or eligibility to work in the U.S.
    For J-1 Research Scholars, Short-Term Scholars, Professors & Specialists
    • A letter from UBIS (or your program sponsor if UB did not issue your DS-2019) confirming your authorization to work in the U.S.

J-2's who have employment authorization should bring the above documents (except the verification of employment authorization) AND their Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card).

If you are in H-1B status, you should bring with you:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid I-94 card (if you were issued one when you entered the U.S.) OR Admission stamp in passport + Print -out of electronic I-94 card (available at www.cbp.gov/I94)
  • Your I-797 approval notice showing the validity dates of your work authorization
  • Completed Social Security Card Application Form (see below for instructions)


Tips for Completing the Social Security Card Application Form

   
  Citizenship – check “Legal Alien Allowed to Work”
  Mother's Maiden Name – Please put the name your mother had before marriage (if it was different).
Mother's Social Security Number – If your mother ever lived in the U.S. and had a Social Security Number, put it here. If not, leave this blank.
 

Father's Name – Please put your father's name.
Father's Social Security Number – If your father ever lived in the U.S. and had a Social Security Number, put it here. If not, leave this blank.

Mailing Address = Your Residence in Buffalo

  • The U.S. Post Office may not forward Social Security Cards or deliver them to you at another person's address. Do not use c/o addresses!
  • If you do not have a residence in Buffalo yet, it is best to wait to apply for a card when you have one.


Social Security Office Information

The Social Security Office is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 9:00-11:30 for the processing of UB international students' and scholars' Social Security Card applications. The office address is below.  NOTE:  Backpacks are not permitted in the Social Security Office.

Suite 100

186 Exchange Street

Buffalo , New York 14204
Telephone: 1-800-772-1213

 

Directions to the Social Security Office

For driving, bus and metro rail directions to the Social Security Office, please see our map.

 

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