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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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.