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Obtaining a Social Security Number & a Job

The social security number is a personal identification number issued by the U.S. government for tax purposes. Many stores and offices (such as cell phone stores and banks) request your social security number prior to cashing a check or granting you their benefits to you.

The temporary JMU social security number that you were given at the beginning of your JMU days to activate your e-ID is only valid within JMU for this purpose only.

The only way for international students on a visa to acquire a social security number is to be employed. Refer yourself to this section for employment restrictions and guidelines. With this in mind, you can look and apply for jobs.

On-campus job listings can be found at the Office of Student Employment's homepage. International students are restricted to Institution Employment or IE jobs. After you apply and are offered a job, make an appointment with one of the ISSS staf members to come to our office and take care of the following steps:

  • Complete an I-9 form. You will need to bring your passport and i-20 or DS-2019.
  • Print the Social Security Letter and obtain the signature of your employer/supervisor along with one the ISSS staff members' signature.

With these papers in hand, you will then

  • Need to make an appointment to meet with Sherry Willis - Payroll Office, Tel. 568-8034 to discuss visa treaties implications and other related payroll matters.
  • Apply for a social security number at the Social Security Office located downtown. You will need the following documents: