Recent Updates: Visit our COVID-19 Community Guide for information about in-person teaching and learning this fall. 

  • A Social Security number (SSN) is a nine-digit personal identification number issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration that is used in applying for employment and filing taxes. SSNs are assigned to individuals for life. Always keep your SSN card in a safe place. You do not have to carry it on you at all times.

    An SSN is not equivalent to employment authorization. International students should always consult with ISSS about types of authorized employment before engaging in any work (paid or unpaid).

    COVID-19 Procedures Update

    Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, Social Security Administration (SSA) offices have limited, emergency-only appointments available for students. If you need to apply for a Social Security number (SSN), you must call your local SSA office to request an appointment. Offering appointments is at the discretion of the SSA, and there may be a long wait list. If you apply (or have applied) for an SSN through your OPT application to USCIS, the SSA will still process your request. If you need an SSN for an on-campus job or CPT, please submit the appropriate Letter Request on iGlobal and our office will contact you with further instructions.

    Currently all immigration documents are unavailable for in-office pickup; you will therefore need to submit a Document Shipping Request in order for your documents to be mailed to you for your SSA appointment.

    Who Can Apply

    International students and scholars must have current work authorization in order to apply for an SSN.

    • F-1 students may apply if they have on-campus employment, have been approved for curricular practical training (CPT), or have received their EAD Card after applying for optional practical training (OPT).
    • J-1 students may apply if they have on-campus employment or have been approved for academic training.
    • J-1 scholars may apply ten days after they have arrived in the United States and their J-1 immigration record is validated and active.

    If You Are Ineligible

    If you are not eligible for an SSN, you can request a Social Security letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration. For this, ISSS can provide you with a Social Security ineligibility support letter. The official letter from the Social Security office serves as evidence of SSN ineligibility, enabling you to obtain a driver's license, a state ID, or a lease for an apartment and to open a bank account.

    If you need to file taxes and are not eligible for an SSN, you can apply for an individual tax identification number (ITIN).

    To request an SSN ineligibility support letter from ISSS:

    • Submit a service request through iGlobal: Go to General Services, then Letter Request, then SSN, and finally Not Authorized to Work and Ineligible for SSN.
    • ISSS will process your request within five business days. You will need to pick up your SSN ineligibility support letter from the ISSS office.

    Bring this support letter to the Social Security office, which will issue you an official letter of ineligibility.

  • Applying for a Social Security Number

    International students and scholars must apply for an SSN in person with Social Security after preparing specific documentation corresponding to the type of employment authorization sought, as detailed below. According to the Social Security Administration, you will be mailed your Social Security card approximately two weeks after applying. When you apply, you may ask for a receipt for your submitted SSN application.

  • Replacing a Lost or Stolen Social Security Card

    If your Social Security card is lost or stolen, you should file a police report.

    To apply for a replacement card from the Social Security Administration, you must have current employment authorization and follow the steps described above. This means that if you do not have current employment authorization, you are not eligible to apply for a replacement card.

    When you apply for a replacement card, your Social Security number will remain the same. You may continue to use the number if you know it, even if your card has been lost or stolen. Your number will not change when your card is replaced.

  • Contact Us and Office Hours

    International Student and Scholar Services
    72 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor
    New York, NY 10011

    Emergency Phone (After Hours Only)

    Office Hours 
    Mondays and Fridays: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 1:00-5:00 p.m.

    Virtual Drop-In Advising Hours
    Tuesdays, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Register here.

    University Closures
    November 25-26, 2021
    December 24, 2021-January 2, 2022 

  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.