Social Security Number
SSN Information for J-1 Scholars and Student Interns
J-1 exchange visitors are immediately eligible to apply for a social security card. J-2 dependents are not eligible unless they obtain an employment authorization document (EAD). You must wait until 10 days after you arrive and 2 business days after you receive a check in confirmation email from ISS to apply. The Social Security Office closest to Blacksburg is in Roanoke, VA (612 S. Jefferson Str., St. 100, Roanoke, VA 24011). The office is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and on Wednesday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. You do not need an appointment. To locate any other SSA offices or to find more information on the SSN, please visit the SSA website.
You should bring all of the following documents with you to apply. If you do not bring ALL these documents, your application may be rejected.
- SSN Application
- Passport with J-1 visa
- I-94 Arrival Record printed from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home
- The SSN Document (clicking link will open SSN document)
- ISS Sponsor Letter - J-1 Student Interns ONLY - email ISS to obtain a letter
When completing the application, write your name exactly as it is on your passport and other documents. Check that your name is spelled the same on all your documents (passport, visa, I-94, DS-2019, application) and that your family name and given name are in the correct place on the application.
You can expect to get your card in the mail 2 – 4 weeks after you apply. Your card will not be delivered if your mailbox does not have your name on it. If your mailbox is not labeled with your name, label it yourself with a piece of paper taped inside or on the mailbox.
To get to the Social Security Office, you can take the Smart Way Bus to Roanoke from the Squires Student Center on Virginia Tech’s campus. The bus fare is $4.00 each way and you must have exact change. Get off at the Campbell Court stop in Roanoke. The Social Security Office is a few blocks away at 612 South Jefferson Street. A map of downtown Roanoke is available here.