Social Security Numbers
Security number. This number is issued by the U.S. Social Security
Administration. You must file an application with the local Social
Security Office to receive this number.
How to apply for a Social Security Number
Go in person to the nearest Social Security Office. (These instructions
refer to the office located in Portsmouth, NH, since it is the
closest Social Security Office to the University, but you may
apply at any S.S. office in the U.S.) You cannot apply for a Social
Security Card by mail.
You must present the following documents:
for a social security card (application forms are also available
at the OISS)
- your valid passport
- your Form I-94 (Record of Arrival and Departure)
- your original Form I-20 (student copy) or DS-2019 (pink copy)
- your assistantship letter, if applicable (students) or your
offer of employment and INS Form I-797 (scholars, faculty and
- certification letter from the OISS verifying your eligibility for a Social
- valid EAD (J-2 dependents only)
Follow the instructions on the application form but note the
If you are a student, in part 16, "Mailing
Address," write c/o Office of International Students and Scholars, UNH,
Thompson Hall, 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824-3597, if it doesn't
already indicate this. Please do not use your own local mailing address.
If you are a scholar, faculty or staff member, you may
use your local mailing address, your department address, or the
In part 3, "Citizenship," check the box marked "Legal
Alien Allowed to Work". (Note: neither eligibility
for a social security number nor possession of a social security
card gives you actual authorization to work. Students should always
check with the OISS before accepting
any type of employment. International scholars, faculty and staff
should also consult with the OISS
if they are considering accepting any additional employment. It
is a serious violation of your visa status to work in the U.S.
without the proper employment authorization and could be cause
for revocation of your visa.
It will take approximately 2-3 weeks for your Social Security
Card to arrive. If you have given the OISS as your local address,
we will notify you when the card arrives.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
By bus from Durham: take the Wildcat Transit Bus (schedules are
available at the MUB Information Desk) to Market Square in Portsmouth.
Head toward the Federal Building located one block down on 80
Daniel Street (to your left when you are facing the church at
Market Square). It is the large brick building with the name displayed
on the front. The Federal Building houses both the Social Security
Office and the Post Office, as well as several other offices.
If you get lost, ask someone for directions for the Post Office
which is a familiar landmark.
Theft of social security numbers is, unfortunately, not uncommon.
Once someone has stolen your social security number it is relatively
easy for them to establish credit (and bills) in your name, the
payment of which you could become responsible for. Once you receive
your card, you should keep it in a safe place and limit who (other
than UNH offices) you give the number to.
Whenever possible, the UNH Payroll Office will begin the process
of your paperwork before you actually receive your social security
number. However, you must indicate to them that you have applied
for the number. It is your responsibility to provide all of the
appropriate University offices with your social security number
immediately after you receive it in the mail. You should notify
the Registrar, Personnel, Payroll, your Department/College, Housing,
You may have already received a University ID number. This
is NOT your social security number but is only an internal UNH-issued
number. After you receive your social security number and
are in the process of notifying the various University offices,
we recommend that you write your university ID number on the copy
of your Social Security Card you send to the university offices.
This will allow the university to cross-reference your new Social
Security Number and will help to simplify record-keeping and avoid
mistakes and delays when you conduct business with various University
Note for Canadians: This may seem a silly point, but a
Canadian number is not interchangeable with a U.S. number. You
should not list your Canadian number where a U.S. social security
number is requested. Believe it or not it does happen, and individuals
can get their paychecks delayed, or have other difficulties -
especially when their Canadian number matches another individual's
Foreign nationals who are not authorized to work in the United
States because of the type of visa status they hold, are not eligible
to receive social security numbers. (This includes all spouses
and dependents on F-2 visas as well as those individuals in B
Individuals who are not eligible for social security numbers
may apply instead for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
(ITIN). An ITIN is available from the Internal Revenue Service
(IRS), which also has a branch office in the Federal Building
in Portsmouth. An application for an ITIN is made on IRS Form W-7.
We strongly recommend that you have your dependents apply for
the ITIN if they are not eligible for a social security number
since a taxpayer ID number must be indicated on your U.S. income
tax return which you must file each year. (See the section on
taxes for more information on income tax returns.)
or Staff Identification Card (ID)
If you are an enrolled student at UNH, you will be issued a picture
ID Card through the ID Card Office. If you are admitted for the
fall semester, you will be taken to this office and assisted with
the process during International
Once you receive your Social Security Number, you may wish to
obtain a replacement UNH ID card reflecting this number (rather
than the UNH-generated ID number). However, if you choose to do
so, you should be be careful not to leave your new ID card in
plain view and limit the number of people (other than in UNH offices)
you show it to. Since it will now show your social security number,
you should guard it in the same manner as you do your actual social
security card and the number itself.
Students: To obtain a replacement ID card, go to the Registrar's
Office to present your new Social Security Card, then proceed
to the I.D. Card Office at Stillings Dining Hall for a replacement
card. There is no charge for the replacement ID due to an ID number
Staff or Faculty Members: If you are a benefits-eligible
faculty or staff member, Human Resources will notify you to go
to Stillings Hall to obtain your ID Card. Contact the Human Resources
office about replacing your UNH picture ID Card, if necessary.
If you are a non-benefits employee, or you are here on
personal funding, funding from another U.S. source, or
your home government or university, you will not be eligible
for a picture ID card. However, you will be able to obtain a temporary
staff ID card which will permit you to use the library and certain
other University facilities. In order to obtain this temporary
staff ID card, your UNH department must contact Human Resources.
They will be required to write a letter to Personnel Services
requesting the issuance of a temporary ID card. The letter should
include your name, the purpose of your visit at UNH and the length
of your stay. Please make these arrangements directly through
your department and Personnel Services.
Please remember that everyone has to fill out a W-4
Form (Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate) and Form
I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) to be paid. These
forms will be provided to you by your department. You are required
to attach a copy of your I-94 and your DS-2019, I-20 or I-797 to
these documents in order for them to code your records properly
for tax purposes.
Students: If you are receiving money for working at UNH,
you should bring your Social Security Card, passport, I-20, DS-2019
or I-797 and I-94 Card to complete Form W-4 and Form I-9 with
the department that is hiring you. You also need to send a copy
of your documents to Human Resources, 2 Leavitt Lane, so that
they can enter you correctly into the University Payroll system
as a foreign student. NOTE: J-1 students need permission
from the OISS for any on-campus employment, including graduate
teaching or research assistantships. Off-campus employment for
both F-1 and J-1 students is subject to a different set of regulations,
set by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Before
you consider any type of off-campus work, refer to the handouts
on employment for students on the wall rack outside the OISS Office,
look in the student sections
of this website and/or schedule a meeting with an OISS staff member.
Staff, Faculty and J-1 Scholars: In most cases, completion
of these forms will be done within your department. However, a
copy of your social security card, Form DS-2019 or I-797 and your
I-94 Card will be required in order for the Personnel and Payroll
Offices to process your information accurately.
All International Students and Scholars should check to see if
their country has a tax treaty
with the United States. If so, you may be eligible to claim an
exemption from U.S. taxes for some or all of your earnings. However,
you must consult IRS Publication 901, U.S. Tax Treaties to find
out if you are eligible. If you are eligible and wish to take
advantage of this exemption, you must complete Form 8233 and submit
it with the required statement and a copy of your I-20, DS-2019
or I-797 to the OISS. We will review it and send it directly to
the Payroll Office for verification and processing. Please be
aware that not all tax treaties are the same. While some treaties
eliminate taxation entirely, others exempt only a portion of earnings,
or exempt only income received from a foreign source.