Social Security Numbers (SSN)
Non-residents who receive employment income in the United States are eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN). You must start the application process for your card upon your arrival into the U.S., but if you receive a paper I-94 you must wait 10 days to apply. The card will generally be issued to you within two weeks. Faculty, researchers, graduate assistants, and fellowship recipients may receive payments for up to 30 days without providing their SSN.
Non-residents being hired as a temporary employee (hourly/Kronos employee) or through a Special Pay cannot begin their services for the University until they receive their Social Security Number. Social Security Administration’s policy allows individuals to apply for the number up to 30 days before the start of services, which allows you to receive the number before you start services for Northwestern.
Individuals will need the following:
The closest Social Security offices are located at 2116 Green Bay Road in Evanston and 77 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 300 in Chicago. Additional offices can be found on the Social Security website. Their office hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Additional information can also be found on the International Office website.
Once an employee receives the card, they must bring it to the Payroll Office, where we will open your Form I-9 for it to be added.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
Nonresidents who will receive stipends from a scholarship or fellowship, but will not be employed in any other way such as a graduate assistantship or temporary employment, will not be eligible for a SSN and must instead apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Applications can often be completed with the University as part of the on-boarding FNIS process. If we are unable to assist you in applying, you will apply for your number using Form W-7 when you file your U.S. tax return.
If you later become eligible for a Social Security Number, because of employment such as a assistantships or temporary employment, you must apply for a SSN and cancel your ITIN.
You must notify the IRS in writing that you have obtained your Social Security Number (SSN).