UCLA Extension

Social Security for Certificate Program Students

To work in the United States, you need a Social Security Number (SSN). The SSN is used by the U.S. Government and State of California to track deductions from your paycheck for taxes and contributions to your Social Security Administration retirement fund.
UCLA Extension uses the SSN to report student eligibility for certain tax benefits.

Obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN)

Before you apply:
  • Complete nine months in the United States and be eligible to work in a CPT/paid internship or OPT job. On-campus “student jobs” do not require a nine-month wait.
  • Obtain a job offer. Social Security Administration suggests you wait ten days after seeking and obtaining work authorization from your International Student Office (ISO) Counselor so that they can verify your right to work with U.S. Homeland Security.
How to apply:
  • Obtain a letter from your employer verifying your employment.
  • Obtain a letter from your ISO counselor verifying that you are a full-time student enrolled at UCLA Extension and eligible to work.
  • Take the letters, your passport, your I-94 card, and your signed I-20 to a Social Security Administration Office. The office closest to the UCLA campus is at 11500 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 300 Los Angeles, CA 90064 (800) 772-1213.
  • You will receive your Social Security card within two to four weeks. During that time you may begin work.

Social Security information for international students