Social Security Card

The Application for a Social Security Card (SS-5) can be used by anyone who has never been issued a card, needs a replacement card or has changed his or her name. This service is free. However, students must have the assurance of a job in order to apply for a Social Security number. Incoming international students cannot apply for a Social Security Card unless they have secured on-campus employment.

The Social Security Card is only necessary for getting a job; for other purposes, such as getting a cell phone, your passport, driver license, or student identification card are valid documents you can use.

Steps to get a Social Security Number

  1. You must get a job on campus.
  2. Get a letter from your employer (Employer's letter must be supplied on company letter-head stationery and with an original signature and the Employer Identification Number. Click here for sample letter.)
  3. Get a letter from your International Student Advisor in Welch Hall.
  4. You will need to take ALL of the following items to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office:
    • Letter from on-campus employer (Steps 1 and 2)
    • Letter from ISS Advisor (Step 3)
    • Application form from SSA (Click here to read the instructions and download the application)
    • I-94 card
    • I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students)
    • Valid Passport
    • Visa
    • One photo ID that is at least one year old (could be passport)
  5. Do not forget to ask for a receipt from the Social Security Administration in order to prove to your employer that you have applied for a social security card.

Employers are encourage to read the information sheet Employer Responsibilities When Hiring Foreign Workers.

Closest Social Security Office

Social Security Office
115 N. Webb Rd. Ste. 1
Grand Island, NE 68802-9978
phone 308-385-6440

Grand Island is 40 miles east of Kearney on Highway 30. Office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Friday mornings. It is good to call ahead to make sure someone will be in the office to help you.

Fill out the application form in advance. It will save you time and stress when you visit with the SSA representative. And remember, if you do not have your immigration documents, the application, the employer's letter AND the ISS form letter, SSA will not process your application.

NAFSA Advisory for New SSA Rule for F-1 On-Campus Work

"New SSA rule requiring on-campus work documentation for F-1 students discusses the Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that requires F-1 students who apply for a social security number on the basis of on-campus employment to prove that they have been offered an on-campus job. The advisory also reproduces SSA model statements that DSOs and on-campus employers can use to meet the requirement to prove that on-campus employment has been offered."