Texas Tech University

Getting a Social Security Card/Number

F-1 and J-1 students

Students are only eligible to apply for a Social Security card/number if they have been offered a job (see Steps below). This card is issued by a government agency in the US, the Social Security Administration, only to those students who will be working. For this reason, when applying at the Social Security Office in Lubbock, students need to have proof that they have been offered employment from the TTU department. In addition to this letter, students must have a letter from the international student counselor at TTU confirming that they are maintaining their status as non-immigrant students.

J-1 Scholars and H-1B Workers

Unlike F-1 and J-1 students, J-1 scholars and H-1B Workers are not required to have letters from their employer and ISSS in order to apply for a social security number. 10 days after arriving in the US and checking in with your scholar counselor at ISSS, J-1 scholars and H-1B Workers can bring the following documents to the Social Security Office in Lubbock to apply for their Social Security Numbers 

  • Passport
  • Copy of your I-94 card (print out a copy of your record from the Department of Homeland Security Website
  • DS2019 (J-1 Scholars) or  I-797 Approval Notice (H-1B Workers)
  • Your TTU employment offer letter.  
    • If you are a J-1 scholar that is not paid by TTU (external or personal funding), you will need a letter from your hosting TTU department that describes the circumstances of your work at TTU.


SS Card

Important Note: There is a 10 day waiting period after arriving in the US before you become eligible to apply at the Social Security Administration office for your card.

*Steps in the process of F-1 and J-1 students applying for a Social Security card*:

*Special instructions during the COVID 19 pandemic can be found at the bottom of this page


TTU entities that would like to employ F-1 must provide a letter of employment for you (J-1 students do not need an employer letter or a letter from ISSS). The SSA office in Lubbuck requires specific language to be included in this letter. In order to aid the TTU departments and the student, ISSS has put together a template for the employer to follow.

ISSS MS Word Template for Departments (to be used by international students when applying for their Social Security Card)

Please see additional employer information below regarding TTU processes and the social security number


After you get the letter from the employer (based on the ISSS Template for Departments) you will need to provide this letter to your ISSS counselor and request a status confirmation letter. You can request this letter from your counselor by sending them a copy of the letter from your employer as an email attachment. This request does not require an appointment. After receiving your request and a copy of the letter from your employer, your F-1 or J-1 counselor will produce thestatus confirmation letter and place it at the front desk for you to pick up at your convenience.


Ten days after your entry into the US, take the following documents to the Social Security Office in Lubbock to apply for your Social Security card:

The application page for is the Social Security Office where you can create and account and apply is 


The card will be mailed to the student and the student will show the new card to the employer and the registrar to update the employment record and your tax information.  You will need to work with your department and Human Resources Office to work while you are waiting for your new card.    

COVID 19 Instructions

The Social Security Office is taking applications by-appointment-only, because of the pandemic. In order to schedule an appointment with the Social Security Office, you will need to mail or fax the SSN application and copies of your application documents to the Lubbock Social Security Office. Please do not send the original documents. The office will then confirm that you are eligible to apply and call you to set up an appointment. You will then take the original documents with you to your appointment.

• When the student receives ALL original wet-signature documents (not photocopies, e-signature, or emailed copies) which should include:

    •  F1 Students

 I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status
 TTU Memorandum from the Office of International Affairs (sponsor letter)
 TTU verification of Employment Status
 Unexpired Passport
 Unexpired Visa

    • J1 Students

 DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status
 Unexpired Passport
 Unexpired Visa

• Complete Form SS-5
• Fax Form SS-5, and all supporting documents to 1-833-902-2582.

You can also mail your documents to the following address:

ATTN: M. Marquez
5825 16th St.
Lubbock, TX 79416

• A Social Security officer will contact the student via phone to set up arrangements for an in-person interview.

NOTE: All applicants will be required to bring in all original documents to their in-person interview