Social Security Cards

Social Security is a retirement benefit program that began approximately 75 years ago to provide economic protection for US workers when they retire. The program “taxes” a portion of every worker’s paycheck. The employer matches the “tax” and sends it to the Social Security program for savings until the worker reaches retirement age.

A Social Security card is required only if you work in the United States. If you are not employed, you should use an “Individual Taxpayer Identification Number” (ITIN) instead of a Social Security Number for tax purposes. For more information on the ITIN, click here. (,,id=96287,00.html).

To apply for a Social Security card, you must have proof of a job offer and you must go in person to:

Social Security Office
1538 SW Yamhill Street
Portland, OR 97205
TEL: 1-888-632-6990

Hours: 9 am - 4 pm, Monday - Friday (closed on federal holidays)

If you take the bus or the shuttle, get off at Pioneer Square in downtown Portland and walk up the hill (West) on Yamhill Street or take MAX to the Stadium station. The Social Security Office is located on the corner of 16th and Yamhill Streets, just across and down the street from the main door of the Hotel deLuxe.

If you are not a US citizen, you must take the following with you to the Social Security Office:

  • Your passport.
  • Original immigration (INS) documents:  I-20 form and I-94 print out.
  • A letter from International Students and Scholars indicating your need for the card.
  • A letter from your employer indicating that you have a job offer.
  • A “blue sheet” titled “On-Campus Employment Eligibility Verification.” This can be obtained at International Students and Scholars.
  • A class schedule, issued by the Registrar’s Office (with your name on the schedule) or printed from Webadvisor.
  • A Social Security Administration Application (Form SS-5). This can be obtained from International Students and Scholars or by downloading the form from the internet here. (  To print the form, enter SS-5 under “Search.”
    • Under #5 of the form, as an international student, you should check “Legal Alien Allowed to Work.”

Remember to use the same name as in your passport. And, be sure that you always use the same Social Security number.

For more information on Social Security, visit the Social Security Administration’s website here.  (