J-1 Scholar: Social Security

Applying for a Social Security Number 

Step 1 

Before you apply, make sure you have:

  • been in the United States for at least 10 days, and
  • received your confirmation email from J-1 Scholar Advising that you have been validated in SEVIS, and
  • started your J-1 program (i.e., the program start date as listed on your DS-2019 has passed).

Step 2 

Gather the following original documents: 

  • Passport 
  • DS-2019 
  • I-94 
  • Penn State ID card 
  • Your completed SS-5 form
    • NOTE: This form must have a full street address that the US Postal Service will recognize.  If you do not know the full street address, ask your landlord.

Step 3 

Call the Social Security Administration Office first.  Do not go in person until you have an appointment.

Social Security Administration Office 
901 University Drive, Suite 2 
State College, PA 16801 
Phone: (866) 864-1516
Hours: Monday-Tuesday 9 to 4, Wednesday 9 to 12, Thursday-Friday 9 to 4 

Step 4 

Sign your Social Security card when it arrives in the mail.