Finding Us

IPO Office

phone: (208) 885-8984
fax: (208) 885-2859
ipo@uidaho.edu

Mailing address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1250
Moscow, ID 83844-1250

Physical address:
901 Paradise Creek Street
LLC Bldg. #3
Moscow, ID 83844-1250

Social Security

A Social Security number (SSN) is necessary to receive any income for services while in the U.S. Many nonimmigrants are eligible for SSNs because of their visa status in the U.S. Many others are not eligible for a Social Security number unless they have a job offer letter from an employer.

F-1 students are only eligible for SSNs if engaging in lawful employment. Therefore, a job offer letter is required while attending school. If an F-1 student has not applied for a SSN before applying for optional practical training (OPT), once the employment authorization card (EAD) is received, it can be used to support an application for an SSN in place of a letter of employment.

Individuals in J-1 status are eligible to apply for a social security number after arrival in the U.S. and are not required to provide any documentation of employment.

Many F-1 students wish to apply for an Idaho driver’s license or state ID card, where an SSN is required. If they do not have a job offer letter, they can apply for a Letter of Denial, which can be used in place of an SSN.

To obtain a Social Security card
To obtain a Letter of Denial
Where to Apply


For more information, please visit the Social Security Administration Web site.

To obtain a Social Security card, you must do the following:

  1. F-1 students must receive a job offer letter from your department (see attachments to link template of job offer letter) J-1 students and scholars do not need a letter to apply.
  2. Bring the finished departmental letter to IPO for a “stamp” from a designated school official in the office
  3. Take your documents to a Social Security Administration representative to apply
  • A letter verifying your employment from your department and stamped by an International Programs Office (IPO) school official.
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-94 card
  • Visa
  • Passport
  • Social Security application (available at the IPO)

To obtain a letter of denial take the following to the Social Security Administration:

  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-94 card
  • Visa
  • Passport
  • Social Security application (available at the IPO)

A Letter of Denial can be used to show proof that a student does not qualify to receive a Social Security number. This letter is most commonly used to obtain a cell phone or driver’s license.

Where to Apply

There are three ways to apply for a Social Security card.

  1. Wait for a Social Security representative to visit Moscow. E-mail ipo@uidaho.edu to request the dates and times of the next time the Social Security representative will be in Moscow.
  2. Make arrangements to travel to the Social Security Office in Lewiston. The Social Security Office in Lewiston is located at 1617 19th Avenue. They are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and can be contacted at (208) 746-2995.
  3. Every fall and spring semester a Social Security representative comes to our New International Student Orientation to collect applications.

The Moscow Valley Transit bus goes from Moscow to Lewiston. For times and reservations, contact 883-7747.

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