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 reinforcements.
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 # 4 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 thing 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.
For more information about Social Security numbers and regulations regarding SSN, see www.socialsecurity.gov/ss5doc/oriselfres.htm