Immigration Advising

Social Security Number

The social security number is used for employment purposes in the United States in order to report wages to the government. The Social Security Administration will only issue a social security number for employment purposes only. If you have problems in establishing a bank account, renting an apartment, opening a cell phone account, please see an ISFO Advisor.

Applying for a Social Security Number

  1. You need to obtain a letter from your employer. The sample letter (which needs to be on a letterhead) is as follows: click here for an example.

Bring this letter to our office, Williston Hall room 406, and express your interest in applying for a social security number. The office support associate, Dawn, will then check your file and status to see if you are qualified for applying for a social security number. Your employment letter will need to be co-signed by an immigration advisor. This process takes about 2-3 business days to make since many students request it. You are welcome to stop by the office any time in the afternoon after 2-3 business days to see if it is ready. At this time, Dawn will also give you a Social Security Instruction sheet.

  1. You will need to gather the following paperwork ready:
    • Copy of your passport
    • Copy of your I-94
    • Copy of your I-20 or DS-2019
    • Copy of your student ID
    • Employment letter from your employer (original copy only) co-signed by an ISFO advisor
    • Social Security Number Application (no copy needed)
      • You will write down your own mailing address on the application.  The SSN will no longer be mailed to ISFO.

Once you have your paperwork ready, you will need to turn your application in to the nearest social security office. DeKalb does not have a social security office, and we advise all students to go to the Elgin Social Security Office

Elgin Office Information:

Address: 790 Fletcher Dr., Elgin IL 60123
Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. 9:00 a.m. - 12.00 p.m on Wednesday
Phone: (877) 405-0435

When you visit the office, you have to bring in the originals of the above-mentioned documents, but you do not submit them. The social security representative will want to see the originals, but then keep copies for their records. You should make copies of your documents in advance because the center does not have a copy machine available for use.

If you have any questions regarding filling out your social security application, the representative at the center can answer them.

Once You Have Your Social Security Number

The processing for a social security card takes anywhere from two weeks to a month. Since the application for SSN is now on our website under the forms section, the social security cards will now be mailed to your personal mailing address. 

Once you receive your Social Security Number, you will have to contact the following departments and give them your new social security number:

  1. Registration and Records, Williston Hall, room 220
    (815)753-0681
  2. Payroll Office, Human Resource Building, Lincoln Highway
    (815)753-6000 if you are employed on campus
  3. Information Technology Services, Swen Parson Hall, room 120
    (815)753-8100 for campus electronic communication

PLEASE REMEMBER, you will also need to report your new social security number to:

  1. Your local bank, such as TCF
  2. The OneCard ID office to update the magnetic strip on your student ID to reflect your new social security number

Since Registration and Records updates social security numbers only a few times a month, you cannot use your new number on-campus right away. However, you can use the social security number right after you receive it for any off-campus matters.