Update on Social Security Application Processing during the Pandemic
Bechtel International Center has recently communicated with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the Bay Area. SSA has requested that Bechel submit a list of international students and scholars on campus who need a social security number (SSN). Anyone who does not have a SSN and is eligible for one can now request an in-office appointment with the SSA through Bechtel International Center. Please fill out this form with all the required information, and we will contact you with the date and time of your appointment. The SSA has asked students and scholars not to call their offices for a status update. If you currently live in a city or area that is outside of the Mountain View field office’s jurisdiction, SSA will be re-directing your information to the SSA office within the Bay Area covering your residential location to contact you for an in-office appointment.
Please know that there are significant delays with appointments and your wait may be about 5 weeks.
Students: The SSA now accepts digitally issued I-20s but please be sure to print out your most recently issued digital I-20, sign the bottom of page one with blue ink and bring it with you to the appointment. Regarding the job offer letter from the employer, the SSA does need a hard copy/wet signature. The SSA will not accept an unsigned job offer letter from the employer. In addition, you cannot apply for a SSN more than 30 days before the start date of employment.
Please note that although Bechtel is providing the SSA with your information, our role is not one of an intermediary beyond this service. We cannot provide updates on the appointment or assist with the application process.
If you have any questions about the form, please contact Yoanna at email@example.com
Please see information below for the application process.
If you are not eligible for a social security number, you may apply for an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).
701 N. Shoreline Blvd. Ist floor, Mountain View, CA 94043
601 Allerton Street, Second floor, Redwood City, CA 94063
You should not apply earlier than 16 days after your SEVIS record has been validated. Your SEVIS record can only be validated after you have arrived in the U.S. and after you have submitted your Arrival Confirmation webform.
Those holding a J-1 visa in the "research scholar" or "short term scholar" categories are eligible for an SSN and do not require a letter from the International Center to make their application. We strongly recommend that you apply for an SSN even if you do not expect any payment that may require one. If your fees are being paid by Stanford, you will need an SSN to file taxes. There have been numerous instances where J-1 scholars discover they require an SSN to file tax forms after the completion of their program. Unfortunately at that point, they are no longer eligible for an SSN nor does there seem to be an alternative.