Plan your time carefully.
If you have an appointment, be on time.
Know the rules that protect you.
Remain calm and polite.
When all else fails, leave and come back later with more documentation or information.
Open a bank account at the bank’s main office instead of a branch office.
Be patient and flexible. Most businesses use computer systems that run on Social Security numbers. Not using a SSN is not impossible but can take more time. Showing proof to the person you are working with that you are not eligible for a SSN could be helpful (see "Know the rules" above).
In general, only noncitizens who have permission to work from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can apply for a Social Security number. Lawfully admitted noncitizens can get many benefits and services without a Social Security number.
Although sometimes requested, it is not required that you have a social security number for things such as:
What is the purpose of businesses wanting social security numbers?
The main use of Social Security numbers (SSN) by businesses and landlords is to verify credit history. International students usually do not have any credit history since they have recently moved to the U.S., so it is useless for businesses to run a credit check on a SSN or to even ask for a SSN.
Many businesses will say that it is a requirement for the customer to provide a Social Security number. However, this is not true. Social Security numbers are the most common form of identification in the U.S., but they are not the only form of legal acceptable identification.
Where do I go to apply for a social security number?
The Clarksville Social Security Administration office is located at 119 Center Pointe Drive which is off Wilma Rudolph Boulevard between 101st Airborne Parkway and Trenton Road---from Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, turn onto Center Pointe Drive at the US Bank sign (red, white and blue sign).
Get a map, phone number and hours here (enter ZIP code).
What do I need to bring?
Completed Form SS-5 application (online), valid passport, I-20 form, current I-94, proof of job/employment documents (letter, job contract, employment authorization EAD), etc.)
You must bring ALL these documents, or your application will be denied.
When can I apply?
You should wait at least 10 days after you enter the country and 48 hours after your record has been activated (registered) in SEVIS for the current term.
For more information about Social Security numbers and regulations regarding SSN, see www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber