Get your Social Security Number

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United States Social Security Card
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United States Social Security Card


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What is a Social Security Number (SSN)

How to obtain you Social Security Number (SSN). Where is the building, how long it will take ? etc etc... All this questions have an answer in this article.


In US, every one has to have a social security number. This number is used for identification purposes. The employers, schools, banks and any other service provider like telecommunication company or electricity company will require your social security number in order to identify you.

The social security number is provided by the Social Security Administration on a card called Social security card.

It is advised to wait approximately 10 days after your arrival befor asking for your SSN, in order to be sure being registered by the immigration service. Then, you should have your SSN quite fast, between less than a week up to 2 weeks. Otherwise, if you ask for your SSN before being registered by the immigration service, they will have to do a research on you, and it can take quite a long time then, some people had to wait as long as 2 months and a half!!

After you arrive in the United States, you will need to go in person to the Social Security Administration to request a Social Security Card. Once at NIST, please, come again to this page to note the following address:

Gaithersburg Campus

  • Social Security Administration
315 N Washington St
Rockville, MD 20850
  • General Information :
Phone: 1-800-772-1213 OR 1-800-325-0778
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Monday through Friday)


Boulder Campus

  • Social Security Administration
Table Mesa Shopping Center
665 S Broadway
2.5 km South of NIST (Boulder)
  • General Information:
Phone: 1-800-772-1213
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Monday through Thursday)


Applying for a Social Security Card

You must present the following documents to apply for a Social Security Card:

  • Passport issued over ONE YEAR ago (if passport was not issued over ONE YEAR ago, you must also take your old passport or your original birth certificate);
  • Your original DS-2019
  • I-94 card (you will receive this card at the airport when arriving in US);
  • Pink copy of IAP-66 form;
  • Application Form SS-5 (the Office of International and Academic Affairs (OIAA) will provide you with the Application Form SS-5 after your arrival at NIST).


Important!!!: : If your passport was not issued over one year ago, make sure that you bring your old passport or your original birth certificate with you.

Things that you should know about your Social Security Number

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