Individuals eligible to work in the United States may need a Social Security Number (SSN) before receiving payment. Your SSN is connected to your taxes which you pay based on income.

Social Security Number (SSN) Eligibility

All persons who will be paid by UVM are required to have an SSN. Many statuses are not eligible for an SSN unless they have a job. You may submit an application using the instructions below at the local Social Security Administration Office. It is located at 128 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 107, Burlington, VT 05401.

When you begin employment at UVM, if you do not already have an SSN, a payroll record will be established for you under a temporary UVM identification number which will be replaced once you have your SSN.

Applying for an SSN: F-1 and J-1 Students

F-1 and J-1 students begin the SSN application process at the OIE. The first step in getting an SSN is to get a support letter from the OIE. This is done through iStart.

The iStart SSN Support Letter request form will require you to upload an official job offer letter that includes: Your name, job title, hours per week, and the start date. You cannot apply for an SSN more than 30 days before your official start date. When you submit the form, the OIE will use it to create an SSN support letter. Then, you will go to the Social Security Administration to apply for your SSN. Your SSN support letter will have more information on what to take with you when you apply.

It is best to apply for the SSN no earlier than a few days before your job begins, as shown on your job offer letter. This will help reduce denials of SSN applications and save you time. 

Applying for an SSN: Scholars/full-time employees in J-1, H-1B, O-1 or TN status

You will need to apply in person at the local Social Security Administration (SSA) office at the address listed above. No appointment is necessary. However, please do NOT apply for your SSN until you have been in the U.S. for at least ten (10) days.

Bring the following documents with you to SSA:

  • Original Passport
  • Original DS-2019 or I-797 (approval notice for H-1B and O-1 statuses)
  • Printed copy of your electronic Form I-94

After Applying for Your SSN

You can begin working before your SSN is approved. Your official social security card usually arrives at your mailing address within approximately two weeks. Keep this card in a safe place (not in your wallet). It is best to memorize the number. Do not share this information with anyone but an employer, a bank, or other official government purposes. 

Notify the UVM Payroll Records (227 Waterman), and your US bank so that your records can be adjusted to show the SSN. It is very important to do this as soon as your SSN arrives in the mail. If you are experiencing SSN delays, we encourage you to check with the SSA on the processing and then discuss your situation with our staff.