COVID-19 Updates to the SSN Application Process

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is closed to drop-in applications due to COVID-19. The office is now offering appointments to those who need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).

There are a number of steps you must take in the application process. You should expect it will take 6-12 weeks to receive your SSN from the time you complete Step 1. You need to carefully follow all of the steps in the process to avoid errors that could lead to a delay. 

You can start a job before obtaining your SSN. If you are employed on-campus, you should contact your Human Resources department to ensure you complete all of the necessary paperwork.

Application Process During COVID-19

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Step 1: Submit your completed SS-5 Application for Social Security Card to the SSA

Bring your completed Form SS-5 to the SSA office (address below). When completing the SS-5, please be aware of the following:

  • You must enter an address on your SS-5 where you will stay for at least 3 months. Your SSN card will be sent to that address when it is ready.
  • You must use an address where your name appears on the mailbox. USPS cannot deliver a SSN Card to an address that does not have the applicant’s name listed on the mailbox.

There will be an Express Drop-Box line at the SSA office where you must wait to provide your application to SSA staff. You will be issued an appointment letter for your in-person interview after the SSA staff have received and reviewed your form SS-5.

PLEASE NOTE: The line at the SSA may be very long. You should plan for your trip to last at least two hours, so you will want to plan your trip for a time when you can wait.

SSA Social Security Administration
1811 Chicago Avenue
Room 2
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Step 2: Attend your in-person interview at the designated appointment time

You will need to return to the Social Security Administration office at your designated time. PLEASE NOTE: It is important you are on-time for your interview. Your appointment will be rescheduled if you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment.

You need to bring the following original documents to your in-person interview:

  1. Passport & F-1 or J-1 visa (citizens of Canada do not need a visa)
  2. I-20 or DS-2019
    1. If your current I-20 was sent to you via email from ISSS, you must print the I-20 and sign and date on page 1 for it to be valid.
  3. Most recent I-94 (this is available to print online
  4. Appropriate additional application materials required for your visa type or type of employment
    1. Attention F-1 students who have a graduate assistantship or other on-campus employment: You must bring with you an original “Verification of On-Campus Employment” letter (a template can be downloaded from our F-1 Forms page). This form must be printed on the letterhead of your hiring department, and it must be signed by a representative of your hiring department and an ISSS staff member. The SSA is no longer accepting electronic signatures, so these signatures must be done in pen.
    2. A list of the other materials you must bring for your visa type is available as an answer to the question “What do I need to bring with me to apply?” on our main Social Security Number webpage

Step 3: Wait for your SSN card to be mailed to you

Your Social Security Card will be sent by U.S. mail to the address entered on your Form SS-5.

If you have any questions about your application, scheduled appointment, or SSN card, you must contact the SSA Twin Cities Card Center directly at 888-847-0392.

Last updated: September 8, 2021