Getting a Social Security Number (SSN)


Social Security Numbers (SSN) are usually assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States. If the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) has authorized you to work in the United States, you can apply for a Social Security Number.

You must be inside the United States to apply for an SSN. If you are a new student, we recommend that you wait 48 hours after receiving your Continued Attendance I-20 before you apply for an SSN.

You will only be assigned one SSN to use while in the United States. If you already have an SSN, do not apply for a second one.


How to Apply for an SSN

Step One:

Gather the documents required to apply for an SSN:

  1. Valid passport

  2. I-94 arrival record printout

  3. Continued Attendance I-20 printed in color ink*

  4. Social Security Memo with original signatures from your hiring department and ISSS

  5. Social Security Number Application (SS-5 form, available for download at

*If you are a new student, make sure to complete the Initial Immigration Check-In to receive your Continued Attendance I-20 before applying for an SSN.

Step Two:

Go to the Social Security Office to submit your application. The Knoxville location is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm. We recommend arriving early to avoid long lines. If you are not in Knoxville, you can find the closest office online at .


Directions to the Social Security Office in Knoxville

Address: 9031 Cross Park Drive, Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone Number: 1-866-331-9091

From UTK, bus route 11 and route 16 travel to the Social Security Office. Your final stop will be at Cross Park Drive WB at Cross Creek Drive. This bus trip takes 90 minutes.

If you have a friend or co-worker willing to drive you, that is a safer and more efficient alternative. You could also travel by Uber or Lyft. A ride with Uber or Lyft costs about $15+ each way.