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A Social Security number (SSN) is a unique, nine-digit identification number issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). An SSN is a requirement for all persons who work and receive pay in the U.S. The SSN is used to report wages to the government. 

To apply, take the appropriate documents to the nearest Social Security office. All your documents, except the Social Security application, will immediately be returned to you. You will receive a receipt which will allow you to work for 30 days while your SSN application is being processed. Present this receipt to your employer.



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  • Employment Letter from SIUE (available at ISS Office)
  • Original DS-2019
  • Valid Passport
  • I-94 printout 
  • Social Security Application 

It takes about four weeks for your Social Security card to arrive in the SIUE Office of International Affairs. We will email you when our office receives your card. Once you have an SSN, it will never expire. Even if your employment is discontinued or you leave the United States for a few years and return, you will keep the same number.

It is very important that you do not share your SSN with anyone else, as this can lead to identity theft. Do not carry your social security card in your wallet. Memorize it! Do not give out your SSN to anybody unless it is absolutely necessary. 

Social Security Office:

  • Address: Room 103 Federal Bldg., 501 Belle St., Alton, Illinois 62002
  • Phone: 1-855-285-6006
  • Fax: 1-618-463-6591
  • Hours: Monday-Tuesday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. / Wednesday 9 a.m.-12 p.m. / Thursday-Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 
  • Directions: Located in downtown Alton in the Federal Building at 5th and Belle Streets, five blocks north of the Alton Belle Casino boat on US Highway 67 (Piasa Street)

Bus Transportation:

  • Take bus 17 from SIUE to Edwardsville Station.
  • Take bus 7 from Edwardsville Station to Wood River Station
  • Take bus 1 from Wood River Station to Belle Street (Social Security office). Tell the driver you want to be dropped off close to the Social Security office.
  • To return use the same route (bus 1, bus 7, bus 17)

View the bus schedule

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