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Applying for a Social Security Number (SSN)

The purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to help the government track of an individual's earnings in the U.S. for tax purposes. Once you are offered a job, you will need to apply for a SSN from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Eligibility for an SSN is based on the offer of paid employment, and regulations require you to provide valid employment offer letter and authorization from Visa & Immigration Services or USCIS to apply for a SSN. You must apply for an SSN in person at a local Social Security office. Provide originals and copies of the following documents to verify your age, identity, immigration status, and employment eligibility:

Documents Required for SSN Application  J-1  J-2  H-1B   E-3  E-3D  O-1   TN 
Passport X X X  X X X X
Form I-94  (Card or Printout if electronic) X X X  X X X X
Form DS-2019 X X          
Original I-797 Approval Notice     X  X X X X
Invitation/Appointment/Employment Letter X X X     X X
Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card)      X     X    
Completed SS-5 SSN Application (recommended)
X X X X X X X


Directions to the Social Security Office from Stony Brook University:

By Car: take Nicolls Road (Rt. 97) South to the Long Island Expressway (L.I.E.) (Rt. 495). Take the L.I.E. East (toward Riverhead) one exit to Exit 63 South (North Ocean Avenue). Take North Ocean Avenue (Rt. 83) South to Patchogue. Continue on North Ocean Avenue past Sunrise Highway (Rt. 27) for one mile to Oak Street (on your left). Cedar Grove Street and Thorne Street are just before Oak Street. Turn left onto Oak Street and continue for one block. Arrive at 75 Oak Street on your Right. Main Street (Montauk Highway / Rt. 85) is one block South of Oak Street, if you come to Main Street, you have gone too far.

By Bus: take the Suffolk County S-60 bus to Port Jefferson Village by the ferry dock. Ask for a transfer. Change to the S-61 bus to Patchogue. The S-61 bus will go down Route 112 to Oak Street in Patchogue. The Social Security Office is located one block away from the bus stop, on the same side (75 Oak Street). For more information on using Suffolk County Transit, call (631) 852-5200, or visit: www.sct-bus.org


Please Note:

  • The SSA Office is extremely busy, so it is highly recommended that your arrival a little before the office opens. 
  • You cannot request Social Security Number over the phone, and it can take several weeks to receive the card in the mail. 
  • Social Security fraud is a serious offense. If you are offered on-campus employment and receive a SSN without intending to honor the employment arrangement this may be considered fraud. You must contact your on-campus employer immediately if you are unable to work.                
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