WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?
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).
WHAT DO I NEED TO APPLY?
Visit the Social Security Administration website for current information. Use these instructions when applying in person at a Social Security Administration Office.
- F1 VISA INSTRUCTIONS (F2 Visa holders are not eligible to apply for a SSN)
- J1 and J2 VISA INSTRUCTIONS
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, you will need to contact the office where you submitted your SSN application.
WHERE CAN I APPLY?
You can apply in person at a Social Security Administration Office anytime. The closest SSA office is located at 200 High Street in Holyoke, MA.
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am-3pm & Wed. 9am-noon (except Federal Holidays)
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).