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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas
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Agencies Establish New Procedures for SSNs for Foreign Students

January 15, 2004

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Department of State, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have taken steps to ensure that foreign students and exchange visitors who will be pursuing employment in the United States can be assigned Social Security Numbers. Included is a requirement that SEVIS-authorized institutions provide a fact sheet about the new procedures to international students and visitors prior to their arrival in this country.

The new required actions for foreign students and exchange visitors, which went into effect January 5, 2004, are set forth in a DHS Fact Sheet issued on December 19, 2003. The Fact Sheet calls for

  • foreign students/exchange visitors to report to their school or program as soon as possible following their arrival;
  • Designated School Officials to follow up by registering the students in the SEVIS system; and
  • SSA to assign a SSN to the student if there are no conflicts with agency requirements and the student's/visitor's status in SEVIS.

Refer to the Fact Sheet for additional details and a contact number at the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.