For a list of scheduled employment and immigration workshops, click here.

What is a Social Security Number?

A Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique number issued by the U.S. government.

Who needs an SSN?

Anyone who earns income in the U.S.

Who is Eligible for an SSN?

You are eligible for an SSN if you have a job offer.

*International students CANNOT apply for their SSN more than 30 days before their employment start date

*You must be physically in the US in order to begin the SSN process

How can I Apply for an SSN?

On-Campus Employment (No Assistantship):

  1. Get a job offer letter on RISD letterhead* from your supervisor             *We cannot accept the letter if it is not on RISD letterhead

  2. Complete a Social Security Letter Request Form. Once the form is completed and submitted online, ISSA will create an "Immigration Status Verification Letter" for you. Please allow 3-5 business days for processing.

  3. ISSA will send you an email to notify you when the original “Immigration Status Verification Letter” is ready for pick-up.

  4. Bring all the documents on the Social Security Checklist with you to apply for your Social Security Number (SSN) at the Social Security Administration (SSA) office in downtown Providence. BE SURE TO ASK FOR A RECEIPT!

  5. Once you have applied for your SSN, notify your supervisor that you are ready to be hired in the Workday system. Students will need to complete the first part of their I-9 electronically in the Workday System and then will receive instructions to make an appointment at the Student Employment Office to finalize their I-9 and employment documents. Once you have completed this paperwork, you may begin working on campus.

  6. You will wait 2-4 weeks to receive your SSN Card. Once you receive your SSN Card in the mail, you MUST make an appointment with Student Employment to show your card in person.

Graduates with Assistantships:

  1. ​Following the Admissions process your Department makes an offer for an assistantship and sends you an "Assistantship Award Letter" with your acceptance materials.

  2. Prior to or when you arrive in Providence, discuss with your Graduate Program Director what specific assistantship position you will fill.

  3. You will receive an email from Margaret Lewis, Director, Academic Administration regarding the steps that you need to complete to be employed.

  4. Complete Steps 2-6 from the On-Campus Employment (No Assistantship) section above. 

Off-Campus Employment:

  1. Get a job offer letter from your employer

  2. Apply for CPT or OPT work authorization through ISSA

  3. If it is a paid position and you do not have a SSN, notify ISSA that you will need to apply for a SSN, and we will email you a list of documents you must have. 

  4. Take the required documents to apply for your Social Security Number (SSN) at the nearest Social Security Administration (SSA) office. Please make sure to ask for a receipt!

  5. You will wait 2-4 weeks to receive your SSN Card and follow your company's procedures for employment paperwork.