Social Security Information

To apply for a Social Security Number, international students:

  • must be in the United States 10 working days before applying for a Social Security number and
  • must have completed their Immigration Check-in with the ISS Team during their first weeks on-campus. Immigration Check-in includes submitting all required Forms and attending Orientation.

For first semester international students, the ISS Team hosts Social Security Processing events on-campus to make the application process as easy as possible. First semester students are invited to these events if they have completed all the required steps for their Immigration Check-in.

For students who do not attend one of our SSN Processing events, the information below details the steps needed to apply.

Please note, international students who are beginning work at GVSU are permitted to work on-campus for a limited period of time while they are waiting for their SSN to be processed. As soon as students have their SSN, they must bring their SSN card to the Student Employment office to update their record. If students do not apply for an SSN and continue to work on-campus, they will lose the ability to work and will have to wait until they get an SSN to resume working, if their position is still available.

2 Steps to Obtaining Your SSN


STEP 1: Fill out Social Security Online Application

  • Fill out the online SSN application using the link above
  • We recommend using our office's mailing address: 1 Campus Drive, 130 LOH, Allendale, MI, 49401
  • Citizenship Question: check Legal Citizen Allowed to Work


STEP 2: Go to Social Security Office & Bring Required Documents

  • Bring the following to the Social Security office within 45 days of filling out the online application:


Social Security Office Information:

  • Address: 3045 KNAPP ST NE, GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49525
  • Phone: 1-877-319-5710
  • Hours: 
    • Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Closed: Saturday & Sunday


SSN cards take about 2-3 weeks to process. If you used our office’s mailing address, we will email you once we receive your card.

Click to download the PDF version of this SSN Application Guide. 

Page last modified October 6, 2023