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Obtaining a Social Security Number

The U.S. Social Security program is an old-age pension and health insurance fund for individuals who work and live in the United States. Some businesses in the U.S. use the Social Security number as an identification number. The Social Security Administration (SSA) now requires the Department of Homeland Security to verify your immigration status before a Social Security number can be issued.

Before applying for a Social Security Number you must have a job and you must have obtained work authorization from UC International Services. To obtain work authorization, you must submit the appropriate eForm in the iBearcatsGlobal system. There are eForms for on campus work, curricular and optional practical training.

We recommend that you should be in the U.S. for at least ten days before applying for the SSN to make sure your name appears in the U.S. entry/exit database. New students and exchange visitors must complete orientation check-in and document check before applying for a Social Security number.

Open the Social Security application link below to obtain access to the SS-5 Social Security Application. Type in the information requested. The instructions link provides further information about what should be typed on this form. We recommend that students and exchange visitors list their names exactly as they appear on their passports.

Once you have received the proper work authorization from UC International Services take it, along with your passport, I-20 or DS-2019 and I-94 card to:

Social Security Adminstration
Peck Federal Building
550 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

The "Application for a Social Security Card" (Form SS-5) is the form to be completed if you never had a number before or need a duplicate or corrected card.

Directions to the Cincinnati Social Security Office

Metro Bus Directions

Students or Scholars going to the Social Security Office downtown can catch the 78 Metro Bus outside of Edwards on Corry and Vine St. Take the 78 Metro Bus and get off at Vine & 6th Street. Cross over Walnut to Main St. The Social Security Office is located at 550 Main Street on the 2nd Floor in Rm. 2000 of the Federal Building. Their hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. When coming back to UC, the student/scholar would go back to 6th and Vine St. to catch the 78 Metro Bus back to UC. The cost is $1.75 each way.

Driving Directions

If going by car, use the directions link below to find the best route from your location:

* Directions to Social Security Office (59.1 KB)
Directions to the Social Security Office by metro or by car.