What is a Social Security Number (SSN)?
A Social Security Number (SSN) is a 9-digit identification number, assigned by the U.S. government that is used for tax reporting purposes. It is NOT employment authorization. As an F-1 student, you are eligible for a SSN if you have received an actual job offer.
Why Do I Need an SSN?
Non-U.S. Citizens are legally required to provide a U.S. SSN:
- For wage and tax reporting purposes
- For tax returns with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS)
However, banks, apartment owners, telephone companies, and many other businesses typically ask you for a SSN even though you may not be eligible for one. Those businesses should be able to provide you services without a SSN. If they persist, the IEP Office can write a generic letter explaining why you are not eligible for a SSN and therefore, why they should not deny you their service
How Do I Apply for an SSN?
F-1 students will need two SSN support letters. One will come from your employer, and the other from the IEP Office.
When you are ready to visit the Social Security Office, you have two options to choose from:
- Go with the IEP Office during one of our scheduled visits. This trip is scheduled shortly after the beginning of a new session. You can contact the IEP Office at 470-578-2214 to get more details about the scheduled visit.
- Visit the nearest location and bring the following documents with you:
- Valid I-20
- Employer Letter
- Support Letter from the IEP Office
- I-94 info (Click here to access this document)
- Click here to find the nearest location to your home
After you complete the application process, your SS Card will be mailed to your local address in the U.S. in about 2-3 weeks.
As an F-1 student, please keep in mind the following:
- You can ONLY work on campus.
- All on campus must be authorized thru the IEP Office and I-20 authorization is required by KSU's Human Resources office.
- You cannot work more than 20 hours in one week during the session. Jobs that are less than 20 hours are considered part-time jobs.
- You can work more than 20 hours a week during vacation periods when IEP classes are not in session.
- Please visit theIEP Office to find out ways that you can locate campus jobs. Keep
- Students are responsible for looking for jobs.
- NEVER accept or work off-campus! This will violate the rules of your F-1 status in the Intensive English Program.
Any student (part-time or full-time) is welcome to apply for Staff positions through Human Resources. Please note that IEP students are not eligible for any jobs listed under the Student job category. Students are encouraged to look for positions that are listed under Department: AUX-KSU Dining Services. For more information on dining positions, please visit University Dining.
Resume and Cover Letters
If you need assistance with writing a resume or cover letter for a job opportunity, please visit the IEP Office and Lissa Small or Dawn Edwards can assist you. Employees of the IEP Office will not write your resume or cover letter, but provide you with assistance and resources to complete this task.
Students are also encouraged to attend our Resume Workshop that is held every session to get helpful tips on how to write a resume, what information to put on a resume, and how to write a cover letter.
Students can also schedule an appointment or walk-in to visit the KSU Writing Center. The Writing Center is located in the English Building, Room 242. Click here for more information about the Writing Center.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the closest Social Security office to KSU?
For Cobb County residents, you must go to the following location:1415 Franklin Road S.E. Marietta, GA 30067 Hours: Monday - Friday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
If you live outside of Cobb County, please visit this link to locate the office that is closest to your home: secure.ssa.gov
When can I start working and why do I need to speak with Human Resources?
Before you start working, please visit the IEP Office and speak directly with Lissa Small or Dawn Edwards. Please bring all your immigration documents with you during this visit.
You must also complete the following steps for the KSU Human Resources (HR) office:
- Submit a copy of your Social Security card or receipt of your Social Security application and copy of your I-20 (When your card arrives, you must take it to the HR office as soon as possible so you can start receive a paycheck.)
- Complete the required HR paperwork
- Attend a work orientation that is scheduled by the HR office
Even if you do not get a job while studying in the Intensive English Program, it is recommended to open a checking and/or saving account with a U.S. bank for easy access to your funds. There are many banks around Kennesaw and the Metro Atlanta including:
- Bank of America
- Georgia's Own Credit Union (branch located on KSU Campus)
- PNC Bank
When you open an account, you will need to bring your passport and visa. If you have another form of photo ID, bring that as well.
It's important that you know your U.S. address. Make sure to give the bank an address where you can receive your mail since they will likely send your debit (check) card to this address.
A debit (check) card is connected to your checking account and is used almost like a regular credit card (such as Mastercard, Visa, Barclays, etc.) except the charges are deducted from your checking account. Unlike a credit card, you will not get a separate bill at the end of the month like a credit card. Keep track of your spending since bank will charge you a fee every time you overdraw money from your account! Debit cards can also used at an ATM to withdraw money from your account.
When you open a checking account, make sure that you have enough money available to open one. In most cases, checking accounts can be opened with as little as $25.
Kennesaw State University offers it students access to a network of volunteer organizations. We encourage students to participate in these volunteer projects in order to practice your English while helping the community. Please see the Volunteer Kennesaw website for more information. You will be asked to create a profile before you can register to volunteer.
Benefits of Volunteering:
- You can practice speaking English
- You can learn more about American culture and the community you are living in
- Gain new skills that you can put on a job resume
- Help make a difference in the life of someone or something
- Walking dogs that are in an animal shelter
- Playing games with children at a local school
- Planting flowers in a community garden