Important Updates to Social Security Number Application Process for International Participants


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This year, the Social Security Administration has made some very important changes that will affect the application process for incoming international participants who will be applying for their Social Security number for the first time. The Online Social Security Number Application Process (oSSNAP) is now available to international students participating in a number BridgeUSA exchange programs. They will be able to use the online application tool instead of completing a paper form SS-5 application as previously required.

Participants can visit the Online Social Security Number Application site where they can begin the application process. The online application will ask for most of the same information that is on the current paper Social Security card application form SS-5. After completing the online application, it will advise the applicant that in order to complete the process they will need to visit a local SSA office with appropriate documentation and verify the information submitted is correct within 45 days. It will provide the participants with a reference number (Online Control Number) to bring to the office. It is vital that participants screen capture or print this confirmation page and bring it with them to their local SSA office to complete the application process.

It is expected that this streamlined application process will significantly reduce the time that participants will need to spend in the SSA office completing their application.

Full details on the process for Work & Travel USA participants applying for their Social Security number can be found in the InterExchange Participant Resources page. Information and FAQs for host employers can be found in the Work & Travel USA Employer Handbook.

Clay Lewis By

With a passion for road trips and exploring the world, Clay has travelled to nearly every U.S. state. Since 2011, he has worked to expand support for exchange participants in communities across America and enjoys meeting participants, hosts and photographing his travels.

U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
The International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation