The United States has a nationwide pension supplement system known as Social Security. A nine-digit number is assigned for life to all U.S. citizens, permanent residents and some international visitors and is used as a means to keep record of income for this taxation system. This nine-digit number is referred to as a Social Security Number or SSN. If you expect to receive payment from Emory or anyone else in the U.S., you will need a Social Security Number. Also, you will need an SSN or the form of ineligibility before you may apply for a Georgia Driver’s License.
If you expect to need the Social Security Number, it is important that you wait for at least 10 business days (2 weeks) after your arrival before applying for the SSN. This allows enough time for your entry information to be reported from the U.S. Port of Entry to the central database that Social Security Administration will need to access to confirm your legal status before issuing the SSN. You will need to apply in person at the local Social Security Administration office and take your invitation/offer letter from your hosting department, along with your passport, original DS-2019 or I-757 and I-94 card to apply for SSN.
Because of previous practice, you may encounter various requests for the SSN for identification purposes while doing business in Atlanta. While the SSN was never meant for identification purposes, some businesses continue to request this information.
ISSS will discuss the SSN, taxes, and driver’s license issues more thoroughly during the orientation.