Social Security

Social Security


Generally speaking, social security numbers are available to F1's who are employed, J1, and H1B visa holders, see instructions below for details. If you are in a dependent visa category (for example J-2) but have employment permission, you will also be able to apply for a number. F-2 visa holders do not have employment permission and are not eligible to receive a social security number.

All are eligible to apply for a Denial Notice if they are not eligible for a SSN (this document is required for certain applications such as a Massachusetts Driver's License).


Visit the Social Security Administration website for current information. Use these instructions when applying in person at a Social Security Administration Office.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Social Security Representatives will be on campus to accept SSN applications on Monday, September 25, 2017 between 9am to 2:30pm in Room 163 at the Campus Center. See instructions below if you are applying during this on-campus session.

Applications usually take 3-4 weeks to process but can take as long as 2 months. If you have not received your card in the mail within 2 months of application, contact IPO.


You can apply in person at a Social Security Administration Office during their hours of operation: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am-3pm & Wednesday 9am-noon (except Federal Holidays). 

The closest SSA office is located at 200 High Street in Holyoke, MA. Phone: 877-480-4989

  • By Car from UMass: Take I-91 South and get off at exit 17. Take a left onto MA-141 East, toward Holyoke Center. Turn left onto Easthampton Street and continue onto Dwight Street. Turn left onto High Street. The current estimated travel time is approximately 30 minutes (one-way).
  • By Bus from UMass: Use the PVTA Trip Planner to get to "200 High Street, Holyoke, MA". The current shortest estimated travel time is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes (one-way).