Update on Social Security Application Processing during the Pandemic
In order to obtain a Social Security Card, students and scholars need to call their local SSA office (locations and contact information listed below, based on your local US home address) and schedule an appointment. If you have trouble getting through on the phone, you can fax a copy of the completed SS5, passport bio-demo page, I-94, DS-2019 or I-20 forms to the fax numbers listed below. (For the Mountain View office, if the primary fax number is busy, you can fax to the secondary fax number). If you speak to an SSA person on the phone you will be given an appointment and a text message with the appointment information. If you fax, then SSA will NOT be calling you back, and you will get a text message only with the appointment information in around 5-7 business days. To reduce call volume, if you do get a text message, please do not call again to confirm. If you do not get a response after faxing, please do not call to ask for status until at least 7 business days have passed. It is very important that you provide a US phone number. SSA cannot text to a foreign cell phone. Also SSA still requires everyone to quarantine for 14 days after arrival to the US, therefore, they will make an appointment according to when you arrived in the US. SSA will not make any appointments for applicants outside of the US. You should have an appointment scheduled within a month of your call and your Social Security card should arrive in approximately two weeks after your appointment. If you need to reschedule your appointment, please call the SSA directly.
The Mountain View office serves: Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Sunnyvale
701 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043
Fax: 833-950-3370 (secondary)
The Redwood City office serves: East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City. Anything north of Redwood city on the peninsula belongs to San Mateo office, and there are three offices in SF that serves SF and Daly City
601 ALLERTON ST
REDWOOD CITY, CA 94063
The Fremont office serves: Fremont and Milpitas
3100 MOWRY AVE
FREMONT, CA 94538
The Downtown San Jose office serves: Cupertino, Campbell, Los Gatos, Downtown SJ, Santa Clara
280 S FIRST ST
SAN JOSE, CA 95113
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
*J-1 On-Campus Employment Authorization
Obtain employment authorization from your J-1 visa sponsor (DS-2019 issuing entity). Stanford-sponsored J-1 students can request J-1 On-Campus employment authorization from Bechtel Connect. NOTE: You must receive this on-campus employment authorization from Bechtel BEFORE you start to work AND BEFORE you apply for the letter from Bechtel.
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.